Jerrod Niemann and Gloriana headlined WKLB’s Holiday Jam at House of Blues Boston on Thursday night. The show featured both acts full sets and offered country fans a nice preview of the holiday season. Gloriana brought their signature connection to the stage with support of some killer harmonies. However, it was Jerrod Niemann’s performance that had House of Blues buzzing when it was all said and done.
Gloriana opened their set with their debut single “Wild at Heart.” The boot stomping single set the tone for a fifty minute set that included both old and new material. Their performances of new songs such as the recently released “Trouble” and the sure to be summer single “Ain’t Runnin’ Outta Summer Yet,” had the crowd rocking. They kept the party going with their only platinum hit “Kissed You Goodnight.” It was here that lead singers Tom Gossin and Rachel Reinert turned things over to the near capacity crowd. As the crowd belted out the final chorus, Gloriana informed the crowd they were about to do something for the first time.
The next thing the crowd knew Gloriana was walking through the crowd and into the middle of the floor where they would go on to perform The Beatles hit “Come Together.” Not only did this allow fans to feel as though they were one with the group. It was clear Gloriana was thoroughly enjoying the experience too – stopping a few times to let the crowd sing and let the moment sink in for themselves. As they returned to the stage they thanked the crowd and turned things over to Jerrod Niemann.
Niemann just wrapped up his Buzz Back Tour, which failed to stop in the Northeast something that he made sure to make up for in his seventy five minute set on Thursday night. Niemann treated House of Blues to all of his biggest hits, plus lots of music off of his most recent release High Noon. Known for his witty lyrics and more recently hard hitting drinking songs, Niemann treated the primarily legal crowd to plenty of songs they could “drink to all night.”
It’s hard to say what part of Niemann’s set won the night. His consistency throughout was perhaps the most impressive part. Having seen Niemann perform over the years, his improvement on stage was clear Thursday night. Whether it was staying right on key as he moved about the stage, or adding energy to places you might not expect it Jerrod Niemann has become a truly captivating live performer. It’s almost as if “Drink to That All Night,” created an entirely new artist. Songs that had been slightly slow in the past such as “Lover, Lover” and “What Do You Want,” have been transformed into crowd friendly sing-alongs. He’s taken previous show-stoppers, “One More Drinking Song” and “Shinin’ On Me” to a whole other level.
Much of this improved live show can and should be attributed to Niemann himself, but don’t let his band fall by the wayside. His six member support group includes a wide array of talented musicians. Whether they were helping him through a small brass section, on various forms percussion, or through killer guitar solos his band brought their A game on Thursday. Niemann knew it, the crowd knew it, and the band themselves knew it as they took turns soloing towards the end of their set – all performing with wide smiles.
Niemann closed his set and thanked the fans for coming out and Country 102.5 for having him out. Both Niemann and Gloriana showed how far they’ve come as live performers even since the beginning of the summer. Both artists look more comfortable on stage, and poised to launch regular headlining tours. Niemann is closer than Gloriana, but that takes nothing away from the stellar vocalists. If you’ve seen either artist in years past and weren’t blown away I urge you to give them another shot. It’ll be worth your while.
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All photos property of Country Music North.