What town can say they are welcoming back a hometown hero, who has climbed the country charts? Well, if you didn’t know Jerrod Niemann he was raised in Liberal, KS and on Jan. 15, he came back to give his hometown the comeback concert they deserved. Only after 14 minutes of selling tickets the concert was sold out, as 1000 lucky hometown hopefuls purchased tickets to “Welcome Jerrod Back.”

Niemann took stage along with his band which is together formally known as “Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury.” As one, Niemann and the Hung Jury poured their musical talent.

Many might be familiar with Niemann from his radio hit “Lover, Lover,” but Niemann is no newcomer to Nashville. He has worked with many artists, including the likes of Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley.

Just like the typical country shindig, this welcome back concert was no exception. Niemann performed some of his more recognized songs including: “Lover, Lover,” “Down in Mexico,” “The Buckin’ Song,” “One More Drinkin’ Song” and a personal song he wrote about non-other-than his hometown, Liberal.

Genuine and happy to be back and performing in his Liberal football jersey center stage in the high school auditorium, Niemann not only sang, but showed the crowd a good time by joking around with possible classmates in the crowd as well as teachers and faculty members.

How can Liberal not be proud of the now performer? As a way to give back to Niemann, the city mayor, Tim Long declared Jan. 15 as Jerrod Niemann Day and did also give him the key to the city. During his hometown recognitions, the Liberal high school principal also announced that a signed photograph of Niemann would be posted in the school hall of fame along with the other Liberal high school students who had gone on to do great things.

I have to admit, Niemann wasn’t one of the country singers I listen to, but after going to this concert I became a fan. Not only did he show a humble attitude towards the crowd, but also showed a great appreciation about coming back to perform for his hometown.

Country music is one of my favorite genera’s. After listening to Niemann he instantly became a favorite. Not only because I had previously listened to his hits on the radio, but because he truly made his hometown be aware of how proud he was of Liberal and that he would never forget where he came from.

In return, the overall atmosphere of the concert came from the crowd who through laughter, cheering and singing along showed their admiration for their hometown star. Being a part of the concert allowed me to witness the connection of a community coming together for Niemann. If you haven’t heard Niemann, I suggest you do your research and listen to his new album, which was released July 13.

Alejandra Rojas is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at alejandra.rojas@sckans.edu.