Rucker brings country party to Cape Cod

A review of Darius Rucker at the Cape Cod Melody Tent on August 22, 2009

, Staff Writer

Saturday night at the Cape Cod Melody Tent was fun. The crowd knew it, the band knew it, and Darius Rucker definitely knew it, putting on a show that kept everyone singing and smiling in the sauna that was the tent.

The six-piece band took to the circular rotating stage and started the party with “Forever Road”, immediately turning up the heat and humidity as the crowd clapped along. “Alright”, Rucker’s third single off his debut country album Learn to Live, put his crowd interaction skills on display as he sang to all sections of the crowd with a visible smile on his face.

Things were by the book for “Learn to Live”, which featured Rucker’s rich baritone high in the sound mix (no complaints there). The star of the show took the time to introduce a solid version of his next single, “History in the Making”, which has a good chance of going to number one on the Country charts just like his previous three.

For the section of the show entitled “Songs I Wish I Had Written” Rucker chose Jamey Johnson’s “In Color”, delivering a cinematic take thanks to a majestic organ and glistening guitar solo. “All I Want” was nothing but fun, but it paled in comparison to the slow build of “Let Her Cry”. The Cracked Rear View favorite was a full tent singalong (though Rucker caught everyone by changing his order from beer to a bottle of Jim Beam in the second verse).

As the crowd continued to roar, Rucker called an audible and made his way to each band member, whispering something in their ear. It turned out to be a direction to cover “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”, and to have a blast doing it. The same instructions went for “Drinkin’ and Dialin'”, which Rucker dedicated to everyone who “has a cell phone and drinks”, a shout-out to 99% of the tent.

“It Won’t Be Like This for Long”, Rucker’s second single, was a beautiful singalong ballad that served to set the stage perfectly for a stomping version of “Hold My Hand”. Rucker then told the audience that they were going to “have a little fun” (as if we weren’t already) with a version of Toby Keith’s “God Love Her”, which was followed nicely by “Be Wary of a Woman”.

Rucker and company rocked out his first single, turning “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” into a power ballad before closing out the main set with a cover of Hank’s “Family Tradition”, showing that Rucker has become very comfortable as a member of the Country music family.

Darius returned for a touching a capella solo take on “While I Still Got the Time” then blew the roof off the tent when the band rejoined him for “Only Wanna Be With You”. A third encore began with David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Call Me By My Name” and ended with a song that Rucker was prepared to blame on his drummer if it didn’t go over well. That song was “Purple Rain”, and the tongue-in-cheek/completely earnest rock version went over very, very well.

With that, things came to a close and the crowd calmed (and cooled) down and exited the tent, grateful for a good time on a Saturday night. Rucker proved that he sure has found a new home as a country star and, with a few more number one hits, being able to catch him in the cozy confines of the Cape Cod Melody Tent might prove to be a rare treat.

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