Photography by Sarah Cahill
On a near-perfect night in Nashville, country superstar Luke Combs brought more than two dozen of his newest songs and biggest hits to Nissan Stadium for the second of two back-to-back shows in the city's largest venue.
The stacked evening, which included opening sets from Lainey Wilson, Riley Green, Flatland Cavalry and Brent Cobb, kicked off with a highlight reel of old photos and videos of Combs, depicting his journey from growing up in North Carolina to becoming one of the biggest names in modern country music.
The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year ripped into one of his many No. 1 hits, 'Lovin' On You,' which the packed crowd happily screamed back, providing quite a warm welcome. Even the new songs were received just as strongly, with Combs delivering a high-energy rendition of 'Hannah Ford Road,' from his recently released album, Gettin' Old.
Combs, who is nominated in five categories at the 2023 ACM Awards, performed quite a few of the tracks from the celebrated 18-track record, including his most recent No. 1 single, 'Going, Going, Gone,' the barn burner 'Growin' Up and Gettin' Old,' the dreamy 'Where The Wild Things Are' and a pitch-perfect rendition of 'Outrunnin' Your Memory' with Lainey Wilson. He also played his cover of Tracy Chapman's 'Fast Car' and the Irish-infused '5 Leaf Clover.'
The decorated singer-songwriter gave a touching performance of 'Love You Anyway', after revealing that the tune would be his next single at country radio. As the stadium was filled to the brim, the only sound was that of the 59,000 fans in attendance singing the words back in chilling unison.
As the songs kept flowing, Combs took the opportunity to remind the audience of just how many hits he has in his catalogue, as they came one after another.
Photography by Sarah Cahill
The crowd ate up the array of beer-tinged anthems in 'Cold As You,' 'Beer Never Broke My Heart' and '1, 2 Many,' which saw one of Nashville's newest venue owners shotgun a beer in no less than three gulps.
Yet what was equally captivating was Combs' signature, love-centered storytelling, with the 4x Platinum-certified 'Forever After All' and the 9x Platinum 'Beautiful Crazy,' both the most obvious fan favorites on the night. He even brought Green back out to lend his vocals on 'Does To Me,' originally featuring Eric Church.
While not taking too many breaks to chat, Combs highlighted some of his earlier hits, including 'She Got The Best Of Me,' 'When It Rains It Pours,' 'One Number Away' and 'Must've Never Met You,' all of which earned big reactions from the crowd. However, the obvious standout moment of the night came when the 33-year-old played his now 8x Platinum debut single, 'Hurricane.' Though it can't be confirmed, one could argue that the entire stadium shook as the audience roared the words back towards the stage.
Noting that the Nashville crowd "didn't let him down", Combs closed the night with a three-song encore, including a piano-backed version of 'Better Together,' the R&B-leaning 'The Kind Of Love We Make' and Brooks & Dunn's 'Brand New Man'.
While there was a notable absence on the setlist in 'Doin' This,' one of Combs' biggest and most fitting hits, the country hitmaker didn't disappoint on his second night in Nashville.
In fact, if nothing else, Luke Combs once again reminded us what country music is made of: great songwriting, mesmerizing vocals and lots and lots of beer. Play on!
Luke Combs - Setlist
Take from his concert at Nissan Stadium, Nashville - Saturday, April 15th 2023:
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