Hootie and the Blowfish at Fenway Park

Photos and review by Jeff Palmucci

Galleries: Hootie and the Blowfish, Bare Naked Ladies, Collective Soul

Summer has arrived, bringing tons of fantastic music to the Boston area. Last week, Hootie and the Blowfish headlined a lineup of great 90s acts on the second day of summer at Fenway Park.

The first act of the night, Edwin McCain went on a bit early that night in what turned out to be a vain attempt to avoid an upcoming summer deluge. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to the part on time and missed him.

Collective Soul was up next, and I am a huge fan of these guys. Funnily enough, I didn’t really listen to them too much when they first became popular, but only recently started to listen  when Spotify started adding them to my music feed. Lead Ed Roland worked the crowd as they played several of their classics including two of my favorites, Heavy and Where the River Flows. They also put on a reasonable cover of AC/DCs Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, with McCain and Bare Naked Ladies lead Ed Robertson joining them onstage.

After Collective Soul’s set, the rain interrupted the show for a fairly long stretch, with everyone just packing the covered areas. I briefly entertained braving the mass of people in order to get myself a beer, but chickened out when I saw the wall to wall crowd.

When Bare Naked Ladies finally came on (not during the downpour, but still with a fair amount of rain) I expected the crowd to be grumpy and a little pissed off. I was surprised to find the exact opposite. Everyone was soaked, but there was an awesome party vibe that played off BNL’s standard practice of injecting a bit of humor to their sets. (In this case adding a bunch of aweful rain puns to The Old Apartment.) When they played their classic If I Had a Million Dollars, the crowd sang along so loudly, they kind of drowned out the band. It was great seeing the crowd so amped up, while still being so waterlogged.

Finally Hootie came on. The band, fronted by Darius Rucker, played several of their biggest hits, turning the night into a nostalgic celebration of their enduring music. Rucker’s soulful voice and the band’s tight performance on classics like “Hold My Hand” and “Only Wanna Be With You” had the crowd singing along, creating an electric atmosphere under the iconic stadium lights.

Darius Rucker’s journey from rock to country music is equally impressive. Since launching his solo country career in 2008, he’s become a major star in the genre. His debut country album, “Learn to Live,” was a huge success, spawning chart-topping singles like “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” His ability to seamlessly transition between rock and country showcases his versatility and broad appeal. Rucker’s heartfelt lyrics and genuine performances have earned him a dedicated fanbase in the country music world, proving that his talent transcends genres.

A great night of music, and if you missed it, don’t worry. There are still a few tour dates in the area, including an 8/1 show in Hartford.


Hootie and the Blowfish

Bare Naked Ladies

Collective Soul