Scrolling Headlines:

Lawrence Osborn Fossil Collection showcases fossils from across the globe, spanning vast ages -

January 23, 2018

Retired professor and public figure, Julius Lester, passed away at age 78 -

January 23, 2018

UMass looks to maintain discipline in Tuesday’s tilt at Boston College -

January 23, 2018

UMass men’s and women’s swimming and diving earns second place finishes at Dartmouth Invitational -

January 23, 2018

YouTube’s free speech problem -

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January 23, 2018

Book review: ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi -

January 23, 2018

Charli XCX’s latest release, ‘Pop 2,’ is another gorgeous experiment on electro-pop -

January 23, 2018

Rashaan Holloway ruled academically ineligible, will miss rest of season -

January 22, 2018

Minutewomen hold on to defeat VCU, snap losing streak -

January 22, 2018

America’s misguided war on low-income financial assistance -

January 22, 2018

Blue lights aren’t needed on campus anymore -

January 22, 2018

Cupcakke’s ‘Ephorize’ proves it’s time to take her seriously -

January 22, 2018

Netflix series ‘The End of the F***ing World’ packs a punch -

January 22, 2018

UMass hockey falls flat in 5-0 loss to Northeastern -

January 20, 2018

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Rascal Flatts Soars

MBRTailgating, cowboy hats and Daisy Duke denim were out in full force Saturday night as the country trio, Rascal Flatts, brought their American Living Unstoppable Tour to the Comcast Center.

Darius Rucker, ticketed as the opening act, recently made the jump from 90s pop sensation to a country-singing leader. His set was high-powered and truly entertaining, as he began the night with a great variety of songs ranging from his recent number one selling country singles “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” and “Alright” to covers of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

The song with the biggest reaction of his set was the spirited revisit to the Hootie & the Blowfish big seller, “Only Wanna Be With You.”

It’s safe to say that the crowd left the amphitheater knowing him as Darius, but was still yearning for a little Hootie.

However, the impending rain did nothing to damper the spirits of the fan base of all-ages. Holding on to the last days of the summer season, the crowd energetically sang along to the Rascal Flatts’s opening number “Summer Nights” – a song celebrating Igloo coolers, flip flop tans and bonfires on the beach.

The sold out crowd was treated to a high intensity show full of pyrotechnics, numerous video screens displaying the band’s music videos, fan reactions and song lyrics and red white and blue laser lights that gleamed brightly against the cloudy gray skies.

Perhaps the biggest country act at the moment, and arguably a pop crossover band, the Rascal Flatts are known for their albums’ mushy love ballads like “What Hurts the Most”, or party-inspiring tunes like “Me and My Gang.” Yet surprisingly, when live in concert, the trio’s rock ‘n’ roll edge appeared. Screaming guitar riffs and the blazing sounds of the fiddle were perfectly matched against the powerful voice of lead singer Gary LeVox.

Lead guitarist Joe Don Rooney and bassist Jay DeMarcus were also given their shining moments. In an attempt to revisit their Nashville days singing on a front porch, Rooney and DeMarcus gave LeVox a break and led the crowd in a medley of their favorite “front porch” songs. With DeMarcus taking over the piano and Rooney on the guitar, the two played “Lean On Me” and “Backwards.”

Rascal Flatts delighted fans and played most of their number one hit singles, and the crowd’s reactions to each song made the night feel like a glorified karaoke event. The audience and the band were serenading each other with the ballads, “Bless the Broken Road,” “My Wish,” and “Here Comes Goodbye,” the band’s latest number one country single.

Strangely enough, the song “Unstoppable,” which the tour and their newly released sixth studio album were named after, was not a part of Saturday night’s set list. However, numbers like “Fast Cars and Freedom,” “Prayin’ for Daylight,” and “Love You Out Loud” kept the crowd gyrating and partying.

The two-hour show ended with a three-song encore filled with covers. Rascal Flatts’ remakes of Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” and the Beatles’ “Revolution” had the crowd begging for more. Darius Rucker joined the Rascal Flatts in the final number of the evening. Together, they performed an exuberant rendition of a song from Rucker’s former band, Hootie & the Blowfish, “Hold My Hand.”

 

Anshalee Guarnieri can be reached at aguarnie@student.umass.edu.

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