Darius Rucker brings rock-star vibe to his country show


Ty Wright

Darius Rucker performing at the “True Believers Tour,” at the CFE Arena in Orlando, Fla. on April 24, 2014. (Ty Wright / Valencia Voice)

Every family has that one oddball uncle. The one no one truly understands because his current ventures come off as weird if you compare them to things of his background.

You know, the one who only comes around every so often, however when does he is always bearing gifts. The uncle that all the younger cousins wished was their permanent babysitter because he allows them to underage drink, as long as they don’t tell mom. The one who has people hating him for the same exact reasons everyone else loves him.

Former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker was that uncle to Orlando, when he brought his “True Believers Tour” to the CFE Arena on Thursday.

During his one-hour and 45 minutes set, Mr. Rucker’s setlist featured some country, some covers where he crossover genres, and a ton of Hootie magic.

Mr. Rucker opened up his set with “Radio” and “Heartbreak Road,” two songs from his certified Gold album which he is currently out touring. With the vibe many of the songs created, he left many wondering: If Hootie & the Blowfish were to come out in the recent years, would they be able to find a home in the mainstream country music scene and climb the charts; as many of Mr. Rucker’s songs as a sol-artist contained ballads that wouldn’t have sounded weird if the rock group was to play them in the 90’. In fact, he introduced the Hootie and the Blowfish song “Let Her Cry” as “the first country song I ever wrote.”

Mr. Rucker was very casual and all about his business, dressed in blue jeans, a Nike ball cap and matching black shirt and vest. He was not one to talk much while onstage, however when he did it would always get a great response from the crowd. He showed support to UCF multiple times. At one point during the show, he displayed the school’s logo across his giant video screens, behind his massive amount of stage lights.

Aside from singer’s Corey Smith 30-minute opening set, and the Eli Young Band’s hour-long set, which contained all three of their smash hits “Even If It Breaks My Heart,” “Crazy Girl,” and “Drunk Last Night,” both acts would join Mr. Rucker on stage to perform Hank Williams, Jr.’s “Family Tradition.”

Mr. Rucker would his set with “Wagon Wheel,” a hit of his which has garnered him great success on the charts and at music award shows.

While Darius Rucker will always be known for his contributions to Hootie and the Blowfish, spending more than 25-years with the group, he has gone on to make a solo career for himself.