Emily Hanhart, For The Miami Student

Jerrod Niemann commands the crowd at Brick Street Wednesday with a drink in hand. (Lauren Olson | Photo Editor)

Country star Jerrod Niemann performed at Brick Street Bar Wednesday to a packed house. While the audience consisted of both die-hard country music fans and people clearly out of their comfort zone, by the end of the night it didn’t matter who they were, the singer had won the crowd.

Niemann’s recent rise to fame in the industry made some of his original songs hard to follow. However, his unforgettable covers kept the crowd alive all night. He sang songs made famous by major names in country music like “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band. Niemann commanded the crowd even more with the ska hit “Santeria” by Sublime.

The variety in his covers catered to every genre of music. Niemann’s exciting performance may even have converted some into country fans; sophomore Josh Bacon said he was impressed by the country singer.

“I really didn’t know of him before I came tonight and I ended up having a great time,” Bacon said.

The country star also played some of his own chart-topping hits like “Lover, Lover” and “Shinin’ on Me.” Niemann slowed it down when he performed one of his most well known songs, “What Do You Want From Me.” The brief change of pace was proof of his ability to successfully control the crowd.

Niemann made an effort to highlight his talented band members during songs featuring Will Elliott on trombone and C. T. Blackmore on saxophone. The jazz instruments brought an unexpected, yet exciting feel to the performance. Niemann also brought out opening act Brent Anderson to the stage during one of his songs to solo on the guitar.

“Playing against his guitar player is a little nerve-wracking because he is insanely talented,” Anderson said. “I feel it went pretty well. I love opening for Jerrod, he’s a lot of fun.”

Niemann’s interaction with the audience was entertaining and kept the crowd’s attention between songs.

“Someone told me before I came out here that it’s hard to beat an Ohio crowd and when you go out there tonight, you’re going to want them to join the band,” Niemann said. “He was right.”

Throughout the night, he shared short stories about his college experiences and expressed his appreciation for being there.

“Ya’ll treat us like family around here,” Niemann said. “If you would have us, we’d like to come hang out with you guys again.”