Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

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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