Hootie & the Blowfish: What we want to see at the Iowa State Fair reunion show
They only wanna be with you, Iowa State Fair fanatics (well, you and audiences in 43 other cities, but still!).
Beloved 1990s acoustic rock group Hootie & The Blowfish announced Monday a 44-city North American tour, the group’s first since declaring a hiatus in 2007. The tour includes a stop at the Iowa State Fair Grandstand on Aug. 18, 2019 — the fair’s closing Sunday night.
Tickets cost $55, $65 or $72 before fees and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via iowastatefair.org. While Iowans hotly wait for the digital on-sale to launch, here’s a look at a few things we’d like to see at the band’s newly anticipated Iowa State Fair Grandstand debut.
Because why? They wanna show you the best that — the best that they caaaaaaan. Obviously.
A night of ‘Cracked Rear View’
Next year marks a quarter-century since Hootie released “Cracked Rear View,” the rabidly beloved 1994 album that’s certified 21 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
It’s the album that radio just couldn’t quit — bringing fans “Hold My Hand,” “Only Wanna Be With You,” “Cry” and “Time.” It earned the group two Grammy Awards in 1996 and continues to hold its place as one of the best-selling albums of the Nielsen Soundscan era.
Why not play the record in full? Fans adore a full album show — an opportunity to see a collection of songs come to life in the order it’s meant to be celebrated. Social posts and press releases hint at the record’s 25-year anniversary but don’t confirm plan to do a front-to-back reimagination.
The new music
There’s new music coming, the band's first since 2005's "Looking for Lucky," frontman Darius Rucker confirmed to the Associated Press. Let’s hear some of it.
By no means should the band pollute its first North American tour of this decade with an entire album of new material, but sure, give us what you’ve been working. Let’s hear the single followed up by the album’s most energizing take. A cut or two never hurts.
Plus, considering the band’s probably going bring back each radio singalong, you’ve gotta make a beer run at some point.
Some solo Darius?
Hootie disbanded to give room for Rucker’s solo country music career — an opportunity that turned the frontman into an outright Nashville star.
Rucker’s earned eight No.1 Billboard Country Airplay hits in the last decade, including “If I Told You,” “For The First Time,” “This” and “Alright.” The night shouldn't be a total Ruckus takeover — if fans wanted that they would’ve tuned into his solo career. But the two worlds could collide nicely if Rucker brought out his cover of Americana favorite “Wagon Wheel.”
Dig a little deep
There’ll be plenty of Iowans hungry for a taste of 1990s nostalgia, reared to howl “I only wanna be with youuuuu” into Story County — and they’ll get that moment — but let’s also hope the dedicated, deep-cut fans get something to talk about.
That’s not to say Rucker and company should trade each hit with an b-side bootleg written in their college dorm. But, maybe one or two that makes the hardcore follower throw up a jovial fist — the “I can’t believe they played that” moment for your post-show debrief. Think 1996’s “Silly Little Pop Song," 1998’s “Michelle Post" or whichever song that's fueled for fandom for the decade without Hootie.
Get an overhead view of the newly renovated Grandstands at the Iowa State Fair and hear what improvements you'll see this year. Brian Powers and Michael Zamora, The Register
2019 Iowa State Fair Grandstand lineup (so far)
- Aug. 8: For King & Country
- Aug. 10: Slipknot
- Aug. 14: Gabriel Iglesias
- Aug. 18: Hootie & The Blowfish with Barenaked Ladies