Granger Smith returned to Grand Rapids to once again fill the venue and show off his alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr.
On this Thursday night in Grand Rapids, there is a sense of country in the air as The Intersection is filled with people dressed in blue jeans, flannel shirts, mud stained cowboy boots and ball caps. On the outside of the venue, the parking lots are filled with pickup trucks of all shapes, sizes, and conditions. Some are brand new like they just came from the showroom floor and some look like they have just come from the local mud pit or farm field. But none the less, they are all gathered together on this night to enjoy some good ol’ country music.
The show starts out with Ben Ruetaking the stage, rushing right out to a platform that has been added for tonight’s show. The platform is at center stage and extends from the stage out to the front of the crowd filling the void between the stage and barrier. While singing out on the platform, he was able to connect with the fans, shaking hands and offering himself up for fan cellphone selfies.
For Ben, this is his first time playing The Intersection and is immediately accepted by the Grand Rapids crowd. Ben mixes up his set list with a combination of original songs and covers. A few of his originals include “I Can’t Wait (Be My Wife)” and “We Were Over,” a new single that was just released to radio.
During his performance, he also adds “Red Dirt Road” by Brooks and Dunn and “I Don’t Want To Be” by Gavin DeGraw before finishing with “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban.
WhenGranger Smith enters the stage, the crowd starts singing loudly right back at him. He also rushes out to the center platform and passes out high-fives to the crowd in front.
The Intersection and Grand Rapids has become one of Granger’s favorite places to play as the crowds are always large and welcome him with open arms.
With the success of his videos, the crowd has no problem singing along to Granger performing his originals, “Silverado Bench Seat,” “Bury Me In Blue Jeans,” and “Miles And Mud Tires.”
Singing with a mic in his hand, playing his guitar, or even when playing the keyboards, Granger makes sure to give his band their turn out on the platform. They take turns playing solos or sharing as they would stand out and play together.
Half way through the show, Granger takes a moment to play a few of his favorite songs from his youth paying tribute to a couple of artists who changed the atmosphere of country music. He does “Rodeo” by Garth Brooks and “Run” by George Strait.
Granger’s debut single, “Backroads Song,” from his current EP, 4 x 4, is also going to be his first single from his up coming full length CD being released in January 2016.
While he sings his ballad, “Tailgate Town,” the crowd receives it by raising their cell phones in the air with their flash lights on and waving their arms back and forth with the beat of the music.
Granger Smith ends his set with the band’s own version of ZZ Top’s “Tush.”
As Granger leaves the stage and the lights go dark, the crowd’s level of excitement rises to another level to let you know something is about to happen. This is not going to be a normal encore with a one or two song finale.
With the lights still down low, you could see the band returning to the stage and the crowd’s reaction is deafening. The lights come back up with fog machines spraying over the stage as Granger’s alter ego,Earl Dibbles Jr., takes over the stage waving an American flag high over head.
Earl has become a part of Granger, as he was trying to figure out a way to appeal to people and find his crowd draw. He is the side of Granger that allows him to be unfiltered and be that person that everyone wants to be; wild without reserve and ignoring consequences.
Dressed in a torn white t-shirt, blue jean coveralls sticking out of his boots and a hat with the words Yee Yee on the front, Earl breaks into his newest song, “City Boy Stuck,” with the crowd singing back to him word for word.
Earl then finishes the evening with another of his popular hits, “The Country Boy Song.” As the song is ending, Earl grabs his mic stand, a mocked up shotgun, and aims it up and above the crowd and acts as if he was shooting it to the sounds of gunshots at the end of the song.
He then grabs a handful of Redman chewing tobacco and stuffed the it between his cheek and gums. He is handed a flag emblazoned with the words, Yee Yee, waving it over his head for the crowds approval before taking two cans of beverage and smashing them together. With the beverage spraying everywhere, he proceeds to drink from both cans together.
The band continues on with their playing as Earl jumps down off the platform into the area between the stage and crowd barrier to meet with his crowd in front. Starting all the way down at one end of the stage, he walks the whole distance to meet with as many people as possible for autographs and selfies. It is easy to to see why he is such an internet sensation with so many followers on his social media outlets.