How Darius Rucker Pulls Off Concerts That Make Fans Come Back for More

As part of E!’s Backstage Pass, Darius Rucker took fans behind-the-scenes of his latest headlining tour that promises to entertain both old and new listeners alike.

By Mike Vulpo Mar 04, 2022 2:00 PMTags
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Congratulations! You just scored a backstage pass to the hottest tickets in town.

After COVID-19 put a pause on live entertainment, your favorite artists are ready to hit the road and entertain audiences safely with brand-new tours and experiences. And regardless of where you are, we're offering an all-access ticket to every must-see concert of the year. Welcome to E!'s Backstage Pass.

Darius Rucker still can't believe his life.

More than 25 years after he first founded Hootie & the Blowfish at the University of South Carolina, the country singer continues selling out music venues and delivering shows that leave both old and new fans alike enjoying more than just "Beer and Sunshine."

"It sounds funny or cheesy or cliché or something but almost every night, there's a moment where I'm looking at the band or I'm looking at the screen or I see somebody in the audience that I know and I just go, 'Holy s--t,'" Darius exclusively shared with E! News. "I'm really getting to do this, the only thing I've wanted to do my entire life. I'm 55 and I'm still able to do it."

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

Last month, the Grammy winner kicked off his latest headlining tour titled Darius Rucker Live. And based on the first few weeks of shows, both Darius and the crowd are having a blast.

Todd Owyoung

"When you play in these theaters, you can see everybody," Darius explained. "I've been to so many shows and nothing beats when you look up in the rafters and everybody's dancing and having a great time. People want music to be back and to be back on the road in these buildings, it doesn't get any better than that."

In addition to his solo hits including "Wagon Wheel" and "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," the South Carolina native also plays some of Hootie & the Blowfish's fan-favorite tracks. And no matter how many times he sings them, the reaction from the crowd never gets old.

"The thing about me is I'm not one of those guys who doesn't like to play their hits," he explained. "I love it. I love to start one of those songs and hear the crowd and know that everybody is so happy. In that case, I'll play it every night."

As Darius hits the road for several more shows with special guest Caylee Hammack, the artist is giving fans a look into how his musical dreams come true each and every show. 

"My goal every night is have somebody really want to see me and come see me and go, ‘Oh, I gotta see that again,'" he said. Keep scrolling to see how the memorable concerts come to life.

Back in Business

This spring, Darius Rucker is hitting the road and performing his biggest hits live. "To be back out there and be in those rooms that I've never really been able to play before, the big energy of the crowd, I'm in heaven right now," he told E! News. "The rooms are just the perfect size for music and the crowds have been awesome and to be back with my boys playing music, I'm reminded why God put me on this Earth." 

Spoiler Alert

For fans wondering if Darius plays Hootie & the Blowfish songs, the answer is absolutely yes. "There are a couple of songs from my career where if I don't play them, I'm ripping people off," he joked. "‘Hold My Hand' and ‘Let Her Cry' and ‘Only Wanna Be With You' are songs that I have to play. It's like the Rolling Stones have to play ‘Satisfaction.'"

Sharing the Stage

Darius is singing his praises for his tour opener, Caylee Hammack. "Her voice is amazing," he said. "We're doing this song that I wrote with John Osborne from my new record with her, and the maturity in her voice and the way she sings and what she brought to it, she's a superstar."

True Traditions

At every stop, Darius and the band do a shot before hitting the stage. "Our tour manager or one of the guys will say something cool about the city we're in," he added. "When we go on, our crew and our band have a ritual where we fist bump and hand shake and say, ‘Let's go get them!'"

Then & Now

Growing up, Darius remembers his family struggling and unable to pay for concerts. At the same time, he always knew what he wanted to become. "When I was a kid, we were so poor that I didn't get to see a lot of shows," he said. "I also lived in South Carolina and not a lot of people are coming through Charleston to play shows. But every time I saw live music on television, I just knew there was nothing in this world I wanted to do more than that."

Dreams Come True

For those hoping to reach their goals, Darius offered some words of wisdom. "I'm that guy who proves that no matter where you live, no matter where you're from, who you are, what color, what sex, no matter how much money you have, no matter what: If you have a dream and you're willing to work your butt off and take some chances and don't mind some rejection, I'm the prime example that you can live your dream," he said. "I'm just a kid from Charleston, South Carolina who was told many times you will never make it and here I am still doing the only thing I've ever wanted to do." 

Want more backstage access? See how Lauren Alaina is making a statement with her bold concert fashion. Plus, go inside Chris Lane's life on the road during his Fill Them Boots tour.  

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