Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Concert Review: Darius Rucker at Mohegan Sun

Darius Rucker

Opening Acts: CAM and David Nail
Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena
Location: Uncasville, CT
Date: October 24th, 2015

This was my second time seeing Darius Rucker live in concert.  The first time was a handful of years back when I went to my first ever country concert.  Darius was the first act, opening up for Sara Evans, who was opening up for Rascal Flatts at The Meadows (yes, it will always be called The Meadows to me).  I thought that he would be a good transition into country music for me as I already had listened to him when he was with Hootie & The Blowfish when I was growing up in the 90's.  I was proven correct when he played some old Hootie tunes and a cover of Steve Miller Band's "The Joker," in just his 7 or so song set.

Since then, I've become a much bigger country music fan, and Rucker has become one of my top five favorite country artists.  I don't know if there's something about country musicians (much like professional hockey players) but they just seem like good dudes who would be good time to have some beers with.  But, anyway, on to the actual show.  

The group I went to the show with bought standing room tickets to the pit at Mohegan Sun Arena.  I would definitely recommend doing that if you're going to a show there.  Unlike some other music venues, like Terminal 5 in NYC or the House of Blues where a shorter person might have a hard time seeing, the bands are actually higher up on the stage so their much easier to see when you're in the pit.  Also, the tickets for the pit area are actually less money than those in the first section of seats. Any time I'm at a concert, I'm not really sitting anyway even if I've bought seats at the venue, so it kind of defeats the purpose of having them.  I guess the only perk is that you're elevated from the people in front of you so you have a clearer view of the show, but like I said, at Mohegan Sun Arena, that's not really a problem based on the height of the stage.  Plus, the lower level has easy access to beer and restrooms that make it really quick to get a drink or take a leak, so that's always good too.

Unlike some shows where I don't get to see the opening acts, we actually headed in pretty early and were able to catch the entire show.  Up first was newcomer, CAM (real name Cameron Marvel Ochs), a female country singer out of California.  She's a spunky little number with a powerful voice. She really seems to have a lot of positivity in her personality that comes through in her performance.

Here's her song "Burning House," which is getting a lot of airtime on country music radio these days.  I included a live version to give you a sense of seeing her live.

Next up was David Nail.  Nail is a more seasoned country musician who has 3 studio albums to his name, including two songs, "Let It Rain" and "Whatever She's Got," that have climbed all the way to number 1.

Nail was really good and actually came out to help Darius Rucker play "Hold My Hand" during his set.  He has a killer voice that has a good amount of grit to it, and if I can be a little weird for a second, great hair as well.  More than one person around me actually made that same comment, so I don't feel to awkward about it now.

I wanted to put a live version of his song "Whatever She's Got" but all the YouTube clips have really shitty sound you get this instead.

Darius was freaking great.  He has so many good songs for only having a few albums, plus he still plays a bunch of Hootie.  I wish he would play more of his songs rather than throwing in a couple of covers but that's really picking at some nits.  He seems so God Damn likable too.  For some reason, the fact that he always where's jeans, a t-shirt, and a hat makes me like him more.  Just seems like a good dude and he plays some great fucking music.

Check out the set list below from Darius:

Set List:
  1. Lighter Up
  2. This
  3. Good For A Good Time
  4. Radio
  5. Southern Style
  6. Time (Hootie & The Blowfish)
  7. All I Want
  8. Don't Think I Don't Think About It
  9. Back When (Tim McGraw) / No Diggity (Blackstreet)
  10. It Won't Be Like This For Long
  11. History In The Making
  12. Alright
  13. Only Wanna Be With You (Hootie & The Blowfish)
  14. East Bound And Down (Jerry Reed)
  15. Let Her Cry (Hootie & The Blowfish)
  16. Come Back Song
  17. Hold My Hand w. David Nail (Hootie & The Blowish)
  18. Homegrown Honey
  1. So I Sang
  2. Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)
  3. Exodus
  4. Lost In You
Favorite Song: Too many killer songs to choose from but I'm going to single one out, I'd go with "Alright."
Song I Wish I Heard: "I Got Nothin'" & "Southern State of Mind"
Random Moment: Before the show, we got dinner at Ballo Italian Restaurant, which is located at the casino, and the pasta bolognese was fucking amazing there.  We also got some table-side mac and cheese which was super good as well.  And my wife caught the guitar pick from the guitarist in Rucker's band so I know have that for the guitar that I never really there's that.

Live Show Grade: A-

If he had thrown in "I Got Nothin'" and took out one of his cover songs, it would've been an A.  I mean come on...

Here are some other pics from the show.