Undoubtedly the highlight of the 'Beautiful Crazy' singer's hit-packed set was a very special appearance by Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, who joined Combs to perform his 1993 No.1 'One More Last Chance'.
"I couldn't be more excited to be performing for you tonight" Combs explained to the 60,000 in attendance at the Nissan, "but I've never been as excited as I have right now to bring out my absolute hero, an absolute legend on the guitar and vocals singing one of his incredible songs, give it up for Mr Vince Gill".
The crowd absolutely lapped up the set from the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, who delivered a half-hour compilation of his best beers-aloft singalongs and tender love songs, many taken from his new 2023 album, Growin' Old.
When it comes to performing, Combs is as efficient and direct as they come. He'll storm through a song like '1,2 Many' to get the energy tight 'n' just right, keeping the crowd hot and lapping up every word. New opener 'The Kind of Love We Make' is also delivered at the same rate of pace, despite it being perhaps his most sultry and sexy number to date.
While being a festival set, Combs took the opportunity to present Growin' Old songs, including some that have yet to fully sink into listener's memories to warrant large engagement.
While his cover of 'Fast Car' was never going to quite fall on deaf ears, 'Love You Anyway' hasn't become one of the big radio singalongs they perhaps hope it would, which was certainly felt on the lost crowd. In Combs' repertoire, it's a another middling romantic dedication to Nicole that is out of place in a big festival performance.
Following up his duet with Gill with 'Where The Wild Things Are' was also a left-field pick; despite being another well-meaning, tender song about adventure and growing up, it sits the crowd down for a moment of respite that loses the energy they've just roused.
'Beautiful Crazy' has the exact opposite effect on the audience . "A couple buddies of mine came by today and told me that this song has gone Diamond' Combs announced, celebrating one of the songs that has catapulted him to the top of the country music game.
You can see why it's so popular; a beautifully written song about the little things you love about someone, Combs delivers it with the crowd bellowing it back to him, creating another core moment in the singer's career.
It meant Combs could end his set on a high, the one-two salvo of 'When It Rains It Pours' and 'Beer Never Broke My Heart' giving the by this point buoyant crowd the touchdown they were begging for.
Taking his band down the front steps of the stage to neck a solo cup, Combs sends his deep into the Nashville crowd before walking triumphantly off into the night, safe in the knowledge that his position as one of the biggest in the game is still firmly in place.
Luke Combs - Setlist
From his set at Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN at CMA Fest 2023 on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
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