Hootie and the Blowfish: Group Therapy

I was lucky to be invited by a friend up to Charlotte, NC for the Hootie and the Blowfish, and Barenaked Ladies concert. Hootie was the headliner and they put on a great show. It felt like a celebration. Something was strange about the weather that day (most likely due to Hurricane Dorian) and the Charlotte weather was fantastic. There was an ever-present gentle breeze almost throughout the entire concert. The crowd was nearly Canadian in their politeness. What a good time.

During the concert, Hootie sang their anthem hit song pretty early. The opening words, after 25 years, still have a loving power to them. As if Martin Luther King Jr. was a songwriter.

With a little love, and some tenderness
We’ll walk upon the water,
We’ll rise above the mess

With a little peace, and some harmony
We’ll take the world together,
We’ll take them by the hand,

Hootie and the Blowfish, Hold My Hand

Don’t we all need to hear this so much right now? The name of the tour, fittingly, is Group Therapy (which is also the name of a Columbia, SC bar). 

Later in the show, Hootie sang a song off of Cracked Rear View that I’ve often overlooked. I did some digging and found out that Not Even The Trees is a song about his mother’s passing away two years prior to the album’s release. Another song on the album is also about his mother’s death, I’m Going Home. But whereas I’m Going Home has this theme of hopeful reunion and an infectious chorus, Not Even the Trees is straight sadness catharsis. This song bemoans that no one hears him, no one is listening. Not even the trees. It’s this performance I remember the most about this concert.

A beautiful twinkling backdrop appears, the gentle breeze picked up, and I stood there sharing this moment. It may look like everything is all coming up roses for me and my family- but I assure you, there are moments of sadness and desperation. There are moments of asking why and what did I do? There are moments when it feels like not even the trees are listening.

Alone as I sit and watch the trees
Won’t you tell me if I scream
Will they bend down and listen to me
And it makes me wonder
If I know the words will you come
Or will you laugh at me or will I run

Little boy says to me
Where you goin’ now son
I said, I don’t know where I’m goin’ boy
I only know where I’m from
And it makes me wonder
If the stars shine when my eyes close
Or does my brothers heart cry
I don’t know

I’m a stranger in my home
Now that everybody’s gone
Someone please talk to me
‘Cause I feel you cry
And you’re sitting with him
And I know I’ll never see you again

Lying down in Charleston under the Carolina sky
You see I’m tired of feeling this pain
I’m tired of living my own little lie
And it makes me wonder
When I see you in my dreams
Does it mean anything
Are you trying to talk to me

I’m a stranger in my home
Tell me are you feeling alone
Someone tell me what to do
‘Cause I’m feeling strong
And I wonder how you feel
Do you realize my pain is for real

I see you in my dreams
And I wonder if you’re looking down at me
And smiling right now
I wanna know if it’s true
When he looks at me
Won’t you tell me
Does he realize he came down here
He took you too soon

And now my days are short and my nights are long
I lay down with memories of you
That keep me going on, going on
And it makes me wonder as I sit and stare
Will I see your face again, tell me, do you care

I’m a stranger in my home
Living life on my own
Right now I just can’t see
‘Cause I’m feeling weak
And my soul begins to bleed
And no one is listening to me, not even the trees

Hootie and the Blowfish, Not Even the Trees

Hootie and the Blowfish will conclude their tour in Columbia, SC September 13th.

2 thoughts on “Hootie and the Blowfish: Group Therapy”

  1. I’m so glad you were able to visit. Like you said, 25 years and the lyrics are still poignant. I think that’s about how long you and Neil have been friends as well. Thanks for taking the time to hang out the morning after for our breakfast chat. I picked up The Four Tendencies and actually decided to give Veganism a try too. So, for what it’s worth, I’m listening and I find what you have to say inspiring.

    1. Long meals and good conversations keep me connected and help me build my own “coral reef.” It’s one of the things I miss most about college. Can’t wait to do it again some time.

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