Hootie and the Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies at the Hollywood Bowl

Hootie and the Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies brought their Group Therapy tour to the Hollywood Bowl on June 25.

Both groups have a 30 plus year history and have had few personnel changes over the years. All members of each group are vocalists. Both groups played a number of their smash hits from the 90’s throughout the night.

Barenaked ladies(BNL) played first. BNL was definitely the most humorous band to rise in the 90’s. Once a five-member band, BNL became a quartet when co-lead vocalist Steven Page left the group 10 years ago.

BNL typically plays the Greek Theatre when they come to L.A. so lead vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson and drummer Tyler Stewart both joked about making their way to the Hollywood Bowl this year. BNL are two-time BMA winners, seven-time Juno Award winners, and four MuchMusic Video Award winners. BNL played many sing-alongs like: “Brian Wilson,” “Pinch Me,” “The Big Bang Theory Theme,” “If I Had $1000000” and “One Week.” BNL closed out their set with a medley of “Shallow/Old Town World/Sicko Mode/ High Hopes,” and covers of “Whole Lotta Love” and “Another Bites the Dust.” BNL is always a lot of fun to see and the type of band you can bring the whole family to see. BNL returned to the stage later during Hootie and the Blowfish’s set.

It’s been 11 years since Hootie and the Blowfish broke up after being together 22 years. Hootie and the Blowfish reformed with their classic lineup of Darius Rucker (Lead Vocals), Mark Bryan (Lead Guitar), Dean Felber (Bass) and Jim Sonefeld (Drums). Along with Hootie and the Blowfish are their long time touring members Gary Greene (Percussion) and Peter Holsapple (Keyboards). Their newest touring member is guitarist Garry Murray.

In the 12 years since the release of the group’s debut album to breaking up 14 years later, Hootie and the Blowfish released five albums, two of which went to number one with another ranking at four. Not only was their debut album Cracked Rear Viewa number one album, it was also certified 2x diamond and their second album Fairweather Johnsonalso a number one album went 3x platinum. In 1995-1996 the group was awarded Best New Artist at both the VMAs and Grammys as well as favorite Pop/Rock Artist at the AMAs.

Now in 2019 Hootie and the Blowfish is finally back together and they are as popular as ever. Their massive Group Therapy tourkicked off on May 30 and span all across North America over three months followed by nearly 10 dates in the U.K.

Hootie and the Blowfish played a set of 22-songs composed of a mix of their hits, covers, and a Rucker solo hit. From their own catalog Hootie and the Blowfish performed a number of hits like “Hold My Hand,” I Will Wait” and “Let Her Cry.” A few of the covers performed were “Losing My Religion (R.E.M.), “Hey Hey What Can I Do” (Led Zeppelin) and “Wagon Wheel” (Old Crow Medicine Show).

Hootie and the Blowfish brought BNL out for the Beatles’ “Help From My Friends.” For “Goodbye,” Rucker and Sonefeld performed it as a duet. The final song of the night was none other than their biggest hit “Only Wanna Be With You,” paired wit Kool & The Gang’s “Get Down On It.” It was a very special evening and for anyone that had the chance to see Hootie and the Blowfish over 10 years ago or never saw them, they’re one of the best groups to see this summer.

Photo Credit: Alex Kluft