Concert Review: Darius Rucker Southern Style Tour in Chicago

Darius Rucker, alongside pals David Nail and A Thousand Horses, kicked off the second leg of the Southern Style Tour in Chicago, Illinois, at The Allstate Arena on October 8, 2015.

A medley of horse themed songs pranced through the speakers as rising country sensation, A Thousand Horses, opened up the night. Their set brought wild energy with their full band and back-up singers all pumped up to ensure we all had a good time. Their latest single, “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial,” seemed to be quite the hit as the audience waved their hands and sang along. Smoke permeated from a fog machine while the crowd roared with excitement over A Thousand Horses’ first number one single, “Smoke.”

Next up was one of the most vocally impressive artists I have ever heard live – David Nail. His set included songs from his earlier days in 2009, like the popular top 10 ballad “Red Light,” and continued with his first No. 1 song, “Let It Rain” and latest number one, “Whatever She’s Got.” Nail had a relaxing, yet stimulating performance that urged the audience to their feet to dance and sing along.


Flames flickered in the dark as Darius Rucker blazed the stage with his opening song, appropriately titled, “Lighter Up.” He continued with a few songs that make him Darius Rucker, such as “Radio” and the tour title track “Southern Style” before he brought us back a few years to his earlier days, with the Hootie & The Blowfish hit “Time.” There is a definite chemistry and passion in Rucker’s performance when he sings Hootie songs, and it was beautiful to witness that in person.

“I think we can all agree that no matter what genre, a good song is a good song,” Rucker stated as he performed a cover of the Blackstreet jam “No Diggity,” followed by a throwback to 2004, with “Back When” by Tim McGraw. Based on the overwhelming sing-along response, I would say that both song choices were clearly crowd favorites!

A sweet, emotional video of Rucker with his family, talking about how much he misses them while touring and living his musical dream captivated the attention and hearts of everyone in attendance. A tender reminder that life may be challenging, but that moments with those whom we cherish don’t last forever, so hold on to them tightly and enjoy, because, as his next song communicated, “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.” While emotions were still high, Rucker brought out a U.S. Veteran who had been blessed by the organization Project Rebuild and honored him on stage by presenting him and his family with the keys to a mortgage free home. Pertinently, Rucker sang a heartfelt cover of “God Bless The USA” which further honored our servicemembers and conjured American pride.

My personal favorite moment of the night was when A Thousand Horses and David Nail joined Rucker on stage for a performance of the hit Hootie & The Blowfish song, “Hold My Hand.” I don’t know if it was the breathtaking amount of talent and vivacity of every band member in perfect complement to another, or the glorious moment when each artist had their individual time to shine, but it was certainly quite an experience, and I was sure this was the close out to the set, but Rucker came back with his latest chart-topper, “Homegrown Honey” before exiting the stage.

As the encore arrived, Darius and his band appeared on the catwalk with an intimate set-up. “So I Sang” is a song that will rattle your core. Rucker introduced it as a personal song that describes his life, and during the third verse, he touched on losing his mom, and the lyrics express, “But there were no words to say how much she meant to me, so I sang, ‘It is Well With My Soul’ and I played, “I’m So Tired Of Being Alone’ because those were mama’s favorite songs.” Through tear filled eyes, Rucker expressed his heart in song. Though this was an unexpected song for an encore, it struck every heartstring in the room in the best way. Turning it up again, “Wagon Wheel” closed out the night (or so we thought) until Rucker decided he wasn’t ready for the show to end. He continued a poignant theme and dedicated “Purple Rain” to his 1985 Chicago Bears friends.


What a pleasure to be in attendance at the first stop of the fall leg of the Southern Style Tour! With a brilliantly talented lineup and a set list packed with No. 1 hits, this is not a tour you will want to pass up. You can catch Darius Rucker’s Southern Style Tour from now through November 20. Check Tour Dates on his Official page to see which city is located nearest you!

Author: Tiera Bolt

Mix 1 part momma + 1 part writer + 1 part hairstylist. Add the love of laughter, adventure, and caffeine. Blend well with a passion for country music and hockey. Sprinkle with sass, and that's me.

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