Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Alumnus Returns to Where it All Started

Bri Lopez

November 11, 2022

Grant Gilbert is set to perform at Blue Light Live this evening.

When Grant Gilbert first started performing at singer-songwriter nights at the Blue Light Live, he never thought he would be returning just three years later as a headliner. 

“I knew music was always something I wanted to do,” said Gilbert, a Texas Tech alumnus. “I just didn't know if it was attainable for me.”

Grant Gilbert

Gilbert's musical journey may not have begun during his time in Lubbock, but it certainly progressed here.

“On Monday nights, I would play at the Blue Light Live,” he recalls. “Wednesday nights I would play at Crickets, Thursdays I would play at Buffalo Wild Wings and sometimes a fraternity or sorority would let us play on the weekends.” 

It's a fun legacy to look back on now, ahead of his performance at 8 p.m. tonight (Nov. 11) at the Blue Light Live, 1806 Buddy Holly Ave. where he'll debut his new single, “What's Stopping Us?”

Born and raised in Santo, Gilbert was always surrounded by music. He was influenced from an early age by the musical talents of his family members, so he taught himself how to play the guitar and, later, how to write songs. 

With the help of his brother, Gilbert played his first show at Fuzzy's Taco Shop while still in high school. Discovering his passion for the art of performing on stage, he continued to play around the city until he graduated.  

Gilbert knew he wanted to attend college after high school, and the question of “where?” was a no-brainer. 

“My dad and uncle went to Texas Tech,” he explains. “So, every year on my birthday I would get to pick a Texas Tech game I wanted to go to, and we would camp out and tailgate.”

After Gilbert became an official student, his passion for Red Raider football never wavered. 

“I loved waking up on Saturdays and going to our games,” he says. “It was my absolute favorite thing to do.”

Other than performing, of course. 

As Gilbert got accustomed to the college life, his devotion to music only grew stronger. Inspired by Lubbock's quaint atmosphere, he co-wrote the song, “Hub City Shakedown” with his band.

But while majoring in agricultural economics, Gilbert found that balancing music and school wasn't always easy.

“I had professors who understood and some who didn't,” he says. “It was very difficult and I missed a lot of class, but I had help. Overall, I enjoyed my classes.”

“I even had so much fun in Marty Middleton's class that I decided to take it twice.” 

Since graduating in 2019, Gilbert has made it a point to come back to Lubbock every year. After all, this is the place that really launched him on his chosen path. 

“I knew while in college that I wanted to pursue music,” he reflects. “Going to Texas Tech and being in that town made it happen. I think if I went to school anywhere else, it wouldn't have.”