Darius Rucker rocks Syracuse Oncenter

Country music stars Darius Rucker, Cam and David Nail stopped in Syracuse on their Southern Style Tour.

Country music fans packed the Oncenter War Memorial Arena in downtown Syracuse Thursday night to listen to Darius Rucker and other Nashville stars. David Nail and Cam opened up for Rucker as they made their stop in Syracuse on their Southern Style Tour.

The crowd, dressed in cowboy hats, boots and American flag bandanas, was on its feet all night. Rucker sang several chart-topping country songs, including his mega hit, Wagon Wheel,” as well as a cover of “No Diggity” by R&B group Blackstreet.

Photo: Ally Beiswanger
Rucker, of Hootie & the Blowfish fame, interacts with audience members during his set.

Rucker thanked his fans and hosting radio stations, saying: “Eight years ago, they said I couldn’t do this and y’all said, why not.”

Fans traveled from all over Central New York to attend the concert. Jessica Clarke, 34, and David Harney, 33, both from Rome, NY drove an hour to attend the concert.

“I saw him back when he was the lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish,” said Clarke, referencing Rucker's roots as the lead singer for the alternative rock band. “I was probably 18-years-old then.”

“My brother saw him at the state fair and told me I had to see him live," said Dennis Bowers, 48, of North Syracuse.

Up-and-coming country musician Cam, whose song “Burning House” recently reached number four on the Hot Country Songs Billboard, opened up the show and got the crowd moving.

David Nail followed playing several hits like, “Let it Rain” and “Whatever She’s Got.” Fans sang along and danced as the excitement in the building grew in anticipation of Rucker’s entrance.

When the main act finally took the stage, thousands cheered as Rucker and his band played hit after hit, showcasing his prolific career as a country music singer. Between songs, Rucker made small talk with the audience and slapped hands with those close enough to reach the stage. While performing, he danced to his own music and seemed to personally connect with each and every person who was there to see him perform. 

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