May 1 Editorial

This week, I ventured out into the land of sundresses, cutoff jean shorts, and cowboy boots….that’s right kids! I attended the Darius Rucker concert at the Wharf.
For those of you who have never attended a country concert at this venue, allow me to give you some insight into the hilarity that it brings. The clones come in droves, decked out head to toe in outfits they wouldn’t be caught dead in anywhere else. Jean vest, cowboy hats, boots, you name it. They are wearing it.
Then there’s the drunk people. This is where it gets a little interesting because there are two distinct types of drunks at a country concert. One being the type who drinks heavily on the regular and has been “tailgating” all day with a case of Natural Light, and the other being the light-weight drinkers who go all out for the love of country music and end up heaving up their very souls in a public restroom ten minutes in to the opening act.
In general, the first type of drunk either gets kicked out of the venue due to rowdy behavior or punched in the face by another concert go-er for inappropriate comments in the crowded stands. The light-weight drunk usually leaves the concert in one of two ways: being carried out, completely incoherent, by friends angry enough to kill due to missing the concert, or they get paraded by the crowd in all their glory on a gurney by the event medical staff while on their way to the ambulance.
Now I will turn my attention to the newest fashion trend on the scene thanks to every 13 year old boy on the gulf coast….tall black socks with shorts and sneakers. I’ve seen this combo before, but usually on old tourist from the north who rock sandals with black socks and shorts in 38 degree weather while snapping photos of blue herons with the camera hanging around their neck. I mean, do these kids not have parents…..or a mirror?
As for the concert itself, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the Darius Rucker days of Hootie and the Blowfish, and I was curious to see if country “Hootie” would hold up to the radio hype. When Rucker stepped on to the stage and belted out his first song, I was shocked that he didn’t sound just like he did on the radio. He sounded better.
As the night wore on, my husband and I played the “click” game (a game where you say the word click as if using a counter to log each girl sporting the country concert uniform, generally followed by a sip of an alcoholic beverage) in between one Rucker hit after another. Then to my surprise, I heard the familiar riff of ‘Let Her Cry’.
I squealed like a little girl and was elated when the entire crowd joined in on my enthusiasm for the 90’s classic. Rucker followed the throwback tune with all of every 90’s kid’s “Hootie” favorites. I was already gaining a ton of respect for Darius Rucker as an artist, but my cup runneth over when, in the middle of the concert, he stopped to call out a guy in the crowd who was giving him the double middle finger. “Dude, you don’t have to be here. You can get the ….out,” he said. “You’re not going to disrespect me tonight. If you don’t like me, there’s the door.”
The crowd went wild. Hootie, 1….drunk idiot who got kicked out, 0.
Just when I thought that the concert couldn’t get any better, Rucker decided to close the show with an amazing version of the Prince classic, ‘Purple Rain’. I could now die happy.
I’ve been to a ton of country concerts at the Wharf, but I have to say this one might have been my favorite. It had it all; walking clichés, drunk NASCAR fans, misguided teenaged boys, and the kind of music that makes a child of the 90’s heart go pitter pat. Rucker’s country chops were impressive as well, but seeing Hootie do Hootie was like seeing a unicorn or Mariah Carey have a hit song again.
If you haven’t been to a concert at the Wharf yet, do it. And even if it’s not your favorite artist, give it a try anyways. I found out first hand, you might just be pleasantly surprised!