Nothing says Cobblestone Diaries like Darius Rucker. On stage. In the rain. Playing “Only Wanna Be With You.” Every August, the Hootie & the Blowfish concert marks the anniversary of the night I became friends with Kleckley & Jenni (and set myself up for a lifetime of memories with four sisters from another mister).
They say the third time is a charm. And while this year’s Homegrown concert was definitely a homerun in terms of fun, that first show two years ago will always hold a special place above the rest- and I have been to A LOT of concerts.
So, why Hootie & the Blowfish you ask? Sure, there are thousands of other bands that could sweetly echo the sentiments of life into our young ears. There are plenty of venues that are better prepared for rain. But there is no trump card for tradition, and Hootie never lets us down. Long after we have moved on to different seasons of life, this will be the concert that calls us back to the place where it all began. And in another thirty years, I fully expect all of the below to be true:
IT ALWAYS RAINS HOOTIE NIGHT
Humid, sticky, August rain. The kind of downpour that mocks your straightener and makes a fool of anyone who wore white. But, you haven’t lived until you have stood in a summer rain to the melodious tunes of a band that has been around for thirty years.
TO THE FAR RIGHT & HALFWAY UP
That’s the not-so-specific geographical location of our spot. You will NEVER find us in the boring, seated rows that cost double what we paid. And Lord help us if an unsuspecting group ever settles into this hallowed ground before we get there. At least we already know our given roles for a bar fight.
HE SINGS “LET HER CRY” & SOMEONE ALWAYS DOES
Which has nothing to do with the libations we may or may not consume. Hootie & the Blowfish gets us. Just like they got our parents. The first friend to give in to the water works usually creates quite the domino effect for the other four of us.
WE KNOW ALL THE WORDS
Most (if not all) of the videos I have saved on my phone from three years of this legendary event will come in handy as an audition tape if Kleckley ever decides to try out for American Idol. I’d say she has even improved. Since Hootie & the Blowfish are no longer actively creating music together, there is no chance we will ever be robbed of the sing-a-long factor.
NO MATTER WHERE WE GO, CHARLESTON LOVED US FIRST
It’s good to be homegrown.