I want to make sure that every person in the 904 knows exactly who is going to win Superbowl LIII. It’s going to be the Jacksonville Jaguars! And yes, while I for one, along with a whole area code think this to be true, you can bet on it with certainty because last night, on September 30,2018, Darius Rucker announced that to the crowd at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. Now some may say, it’s because he is playing at a venue connected with the Jaguars stadium. But I will say it’s because this man just witnessed a great win against the Jets and knew what he was talking about! So Mr. Rucker, when the Jags win in January and make it there, I expect you to remember this article where I called you brilliant for picking the winner 4 months early, and taking me along with you as we go watch them win it all!
Darius Rucker has been around singing music since 1986. For those of you who might be living under a rock and don’t recognize the name Darius Rucker, then let me say the name “Hootie and the Blowfish”. Does that sound familiar? If so, Hootie….is Darius.
After being the lead singer in that band, Darius switched things over to a little R&B for a bit and then decided to go with his true love, country music. If Eminem is famed as the white guy who broke into the rap game, then Darius could be famed for the black guy who broke into the country music world. The two things that Eminem and Darius have in common? One, they are both incredibly talented at the genre they decided to master. And two, they defied what society thinks, and dove into realizing your passion for music is the thing that has the ability to break racism down in a world that seems so plagued by that one word.
Darius opens up to the crowd with great tunes like “Southern State of Mind”, “Hold My Hand”, “Alright”, and of course, the beautiful, melodic song, “If I Told You”. That song has the power to make you realize we all need to stop striving for these perfect relationships that we see on social media that just don’t exist and are fake. The lyrics to “If I Told You” are what real relationships are made of…..It’s choosing to love your partner for flaws and all. It’s the old school way of life, the kind where you work through stuff and fight for it.
In between his mega-hit songs, you can hear him belting on John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” and then really bringing the crowd to its feet when he sings the ever-so-classic Garth Brook’s “Friends in Low Places”. As he mentions to the crowd that us being from Florida and him from South Carolina, it would seem we both know a thing or two about hurricanes. So he encourages his fans to light up their cell phones for the good people of North Carolina right now and show them, love, while they are in the midst of what we’ve all been through before. It really was a beautiful scene and for a moment, you were lost in peace when the world outside those venue gates are so full of turmoil.
It would seem fitting that it was the 10 year anniversary to the day that Darius would shed the “Hootie” name and become a Nashville country sensation, and we were glad to be there to help him celebrate the uber success he has had all along the way.
As the night comes to an end, the crowd would know it couldn’t leave without the song that catapulted his country career into high demand, “Wagon Wheel”. Being a girl who hails from Johnson City, Tennessee we know this song more than the rest of America does. And we thank Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show for it. But without Darius putting his own spin on it, the rest of the world wouldn’t know how amazing this song and we love Darius for that.
Thank you, Mr. Rucker, for one unforgettable evening. And as you told us all that football “is the greatest sport ever invented” and then we all raised our drinks and drank to that, I sure do hope I see you sporting that teal and black jersey on February 3, 2019 as you shout out “DUUUVAL” with the rest of us!
Photos and review by Cindy Marshall