By: Sarah Waxberg//
Although I went into Jerrod Niemann’s show in Farmingville, New York with an open mind, I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know much about country music, nor do I listen to it often. Luckily, prior to my arrival to the show I reached out to my cousin, a self-proclaimed country music addict, and she insisted that I would without a doubt be impressed with what Jerrod had in store for the crowd on that warm summer night in late June.
In terms of the venue, it was one of the most pleasant I’d ever been to. It was well organized and there was plenty of space on the lawn for fans to unfold their beach chairs, lie down their blankets, and most importantly, dance carelessly along to the music. As I looked around me I noticed that the audience was comprised of loyal country fans. As one of the staff members at the show said, “the people here are full on country fans and they know who they’re here to see.” It was clear that these people were very excited to be there, which, in turn, made me excited to see the show as well.
What struck me the most about the show, and about Jerrod’s set in particular, was just how intimate it was. The acoustic performance combined with the outdoor amphitheater vibe made for the perfect summer evening. Jerrod’s performance aimed to allow the audience to relax and unwind, which was amazing to experience and also something I’m not very used to when I go to concerts. Although the show didn’t have the bells and whistles (i.e. video content, pyrotechnics, costume changes), Jerrod’s performance didn’t lack in any way. In fact, his pure talent had me thinking that perhaps other musicians rely on the bells and whistles to distract from a mediocre performance. With Jerrod, this clearly wasn’t the case, and this multi-talented country artist had absolutely nothing to hide.
Jerrod ended his set perfectly, with a stripped down version of his song, “One More Drinkin’ Song.” What was most obvious was how he genuinely connected with his fans. Music fans of all genres, and not just country, should check out Jerrod’s music for sure. As a non-country music fan myself, I have to say that he wasn’t what I expected. The aggressive nature of country culture that may turn some people off just wasn’t there. In Jerrod’s case, he was all about hanging out, having a good time, and telling a story or two, and because of him I’m way more open to attending another country show in the future. Thanks, Jerrod!