The Rolling Stones. Billy Joel. Garth Brooks. There have been a few sell-out concerts at Bank of America Stadium in recent years, but none of those artists have sold out back-to-back nights. Enter country singer Luke Combs.
The Huntersville native sold out Friday and Saturday nights in short order and even a thunderstorm couldn’t damped the enthusiasm felt inside Charlotte’s largest venue. Here are 5 takeaways:
1. Charlotte loves Luuuuuuuuuuuke
It wasn’t Kuechly, but Luke Combs got plenty of love on Saturday night. After all, when the show was delayed after just one song from the hitmaking country singer, it looked like just about everybody waited the full 100 minutes for his return. Though Combs’ set originally started at 9 p.m., he only got to perform “Lovin’ On You” before lightning forced those in attendance at the stadium to seek shelter. “We ain’t going nowhere,” Combs told the crowd. “We’ll play ’til 5 a.m. if we have to.” It wasn’t until 10:45 p.m. that he finally returned and picked up where he left off.
2. This was no-frills country
Part of Combs’ appeal is that he’s a solid songwriter. The other part is that he’s just one of the guys. He’s no frills and his concert showcased it. Combs paced around the stage and walkways throughout his set, usually with a drink in his hand. He found time to shotgun a beer and rarely stopped moving, unless he was out there on his own — just him and an acoustic guitar for songs such as “Better Together.” He’s won back-to-back CMA Entertainer of the Year Awards and charted 15 No. 1 singles. Sometimes a down-to-earth vibe resonates the strongest.
3. Tell me you’re a Republican without saying you’re a Republican
Riley Green says he doesn’t talk about politics, but the “Duckman” doesn’t have to. His first song, “Different Round Here” has a chorus that says, “We stand for the flag, and if you don’t like it, we don’t care,” and “Proud is what you say about where you’re from.” But nowhere was it more evident than during “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” where Green changed the lyrics from “… and coolers never run out of cold Bud Light” to “… and coolers never run out of Busch Light.” Because we all know Bud Light is the biggest threat this country faces … sure.
4. Lainey Wilson gets hit by bad luck
Lainey Wilson, whose appearance in the hit series Yellowstone brought her music to the masses, suffered an unfortunate act of God when her band experienced equipment failures due to a lightning strike earlier in the day. Instead of bailing on her set, the rising country star performed a handful of songs acoustically with one band member. Her strong vocals truly shined and she told the crowd she loved the opportunity to perform acoustically for the first time in front of such a large audience.
5. It’s not easy being an opener
It’s great to be on the same ticket as Luke Combs at a sell-out stadium show, but it’s gotta be tough performing in the heat of the day in front of minimal audience members. Brent Cobb (who returns to Charlotte this fall at the Neighborhood Theatre) started off the show with a brief set, followed by Flatland Cavalry. Both did a solid job trying to get the audience engaged but the crowd was in for a long night and ready for the main event. Lainey truly got people moving and Riley sparked plenty of singalongs. Of course, it was all just hors d’oeuvres for the main course of Combs.
With Combs selling out stadiums around the country, can he ever go back to a smaller venue? Note: He did perform at Coyote Joe’s last fall for a special Apple Music event, but do secret shows count? It will be interesting to see how he tops this current run.
Luke Combs Setlist
Lovin’ On You
1, 2 Many
Cold as You
One Number Away
Houston, We Got a Problem
Love You Anyway
Going, Going, Gone
Must’ve Never Met You
Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old
Does to Me
Forever After All
Dust on the Bottle/Meet in the Middle/I Was your Man
Don’t Tempt Me
Where the Wild Things Are
5 Leaf Clover
She Got the Best of Me
When It Rains It Pours
Beer Never Broke My Heart
The Kind of Love We Make
Riley Green Setlist
Different Round here
If It Wasn’t For Trucks
Half of Me
I Wish Grandpas Never Died
Hell of a Way to Go
There Was This Girl
Lainey Wilson Setlist
Hold My Halo
Smell Like Smoke
Wait in the Truck
Heart Like a Truck
Be sure to check out Queen City Nerve’s Soundwave, Charlotte’s most comprehensive live music listing, so you don’t miss out on any shows or concerts coming up. And hell, if you’re looking for something else to do, you can check out our events page as well, which runs the gamut of things to do in Charlotte. You don’t ever have to be bored again. You can check out more of Jeff’s pics and live reviews here.
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