Granger Smith & Joseph Gallant Prove Country Ain’t Dead at Aura
Granger Smith, and of course Earl Dibbles Jr., headlined at Aura in Portland Saturday night with help from Maine's own Joseph Gallant.
As someone who has been to many shows at this venue, I can confidently say that this was the most packed show I had walked in on, especially for the opening act. The love filled the room for Joseph Gallant who was beaming the entire performance, clearly happy to be surrounded by his Maine family. Gallant even commented on how much it means to have such a large crowd during an opening act and how it's a testament to the respect country music fans have for the artists. Gallant brought originals and covers alike during his set like his latest single "Better Buzz" and even covering Halsey's "Without Me" which was written by Maine native songwriter, Amy Allen, as well as Jon Pardi's "Dirt on My Boots".
Granger Smith took the stage with force with an equally energetic band backing him up. Highlights from his set included a powerful performance of "Heaven Bound Balloons" a song that took on a whole new meaning after the tragic passing of his son, River, earlier this summer. Red shirts featuring an excavator were seen throughout the crowd, a shirt made in River's honor with proceeds going to Dell Children's Medical Center. At one point Smith brought out a cooler and began handing out his Yee Yee Energy Drinks to the crowd. Granger even did a fantastic cover of the Tom Petty classic, "Free Fallin'".
He later covered Garth Brooks' high energy hit "Ain't Goin' Down ('til the Sun Comes Up)". Part-way through the show, Granger appeared up in Aura's balcony singing "Don't Tread On Me" and waving his own version of the Gadsden flag.
He ended the night by disappearing off the stage only to have Earl Dibbles Jr. come out and end the night with "The Country Boy Song" signing his own white tank, taking it off, and handing it to a fan in the crowd. Overall the night was high-energy and fun. A night proving that modern-day country is alive in thriving here in Maine. YEE YEE!