After a 14 hour bus ride to get to New York City, I was more than ready to see what Jerrod Niemann brought to the table in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Saturday Night for Miranda Lambert‘s “ON FIRE” tour. Jerrod kicked the party off right, and was worth the long trip to get to the concert from Canada. The energetic performer had the sold-out crowd on its feet throughout his opening set. He was the first performer of the night for a show that was all about the fans. The Arista-Nashville artist has come a long way since I saw him a year ago opening for Brad Paisley in Ottawa, Ontario.
Jerrod was able to switch from his goofball personality on songs like “One More Drinkin’ Song” to serious on the beautiful “What Do You Want?” without losing the crowd’s energy or attention. Even though it was a sold-out show, the pit was small for the concert which didn’t stop Jerrod for a second. He’s one of the few artists who actually interacts with the crowd during each of his songs. He had the fans on their feet and beer in the air from the first second he took the stage. Even with a packed house there to see the main act in Miranda, there were plenty of fans there for Jerrod. The loud screaming when he first came out on-stage proved that he has a strong following in New Jersey and that country music isn’t dead in the North East states.
Anyone opening up for Miranda Lambert will have a lot to live up to. She’s one of the hottest females in the genre, and Jerrod proved that he belongs right beside her on the tour. He’s someone that fans should keep an eye on over the next few years: he’s a great live performer and knows how to infect the crowd with his energy. While Miranda joked with the crowd in the encore that she brought along some “eye candy on the tour” in Chris Young and Jerrod, she also brought some ear candy too.
Jerrod is a rising star, and it shouldn’t be a surprise when he starts to sell out his own shows in the near future. With his full control of the stage, and hilarious banter and stories in between his songs, he was one of the great performers on a solid concert line-up on Saturday night.