COLUMBIA – Iconic pop-rock band Hootie & the Blowfish appeared on NBC’s "Today" Monday morning to announce a highly anticipated return to full-time touring in 2019, as the foursome sets out on the 2019 Group Therapy Tour with direct support from special guests Barenaked Ladies.
The band formed by Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld during their time as students at the University of South Carolina will visit 44 cities on the tour produced by Live Nation., kicking off Thursday, May 30, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and wrapping Friday, Sept. 13, with a Columbia homecoming at Colonial Life Arena.
“Once the four of us met and started playing shows, we toured for years before signing a record deal,” said Rucker who, in the 10-plus-year break since their last formal tour and nearly 15 years since their last studio album as a band, has charted nine No. 1 singles on country radio.
Felber notes, “Having those shows at fraternity houses, clubs and dive bars under our belt prepared us for success to a degree, and it’s something we’re proud of – that we put in the work – but what matters to me the most is that we’re still a band all these years later. We’ve never stopped being a band.”
“We were content playing clubs and small theaters, so playing to three, four and five times that size was incredible, and we’re looking forward to that feeling again on this tour,” Sonefeld said.
Bryan added, “There’s nothing like playing music live. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we’ll be coming back to Columbia, South Carolina, where it all began,” before Rucker interjects, “and we’re ready to rock.”
In addition to hitting the road on the Group Therapy Tour in 2019, the band described as “beloved” by the New York Times and praised by Billboard for “undeniable charm” will also release a forthcoming sixth studio album under new label home Universal Music Group Nashville as their debut Cracked Rear View celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Cracked Rear View, certified by the RIAA as 21x Platinum and the fifth-most certified studio album of all time, marked the beginning of a whirlwind of success for the two-time Grammy winners who have gone on to sell over 25 million albums and notch 17 Billboard-charting songs to date.
Early presale tickets are available to Hootie & the Blowfish fan club members. Barenaked Ladies fans who have purchased VIP packages in the past will receive an exclusive code to purchase tickets early on Wednesday, Dec. 5. General tickets will be available to the public Friday, Dec. 7, at www.LiveNation.com.