The day of the gig saw a few of my friends joking about how in attending a Luke Combs concert, a cowboy hat, boots and a buttoned-down shirt would be essential kit – My laughing-off of this turned out to be wildly misplaced as that night thousands of fans marched to the OVO Hydro sporting full-on western attire in what was a night of pure passion from audience and performer alike.
I’d been speaking to anyone who would listen on the day about how excited I was for the night’s event. One of my favourite singer’s sole performance in my country on his world tour; I felt beyond lucky to be among the sold-out ticket holders. Following some brilliant supporting performances that set the tone for a night fuelled by country bangers, and an arena-wide chant of Sweet Caroline, the lights dimmed around the Hydro as the 2022 CMA Entertainer of the year took to the stage. Stepping forth to Thunderstruck by AC/DC, the North Carolina-born singer answered the roar of the crowd by kicking things off with Lovin’ On You – an undeniable fan-favourite.
The rest of the setlist was a plethora of Combs’ greatest hits, a perfect balance of early tunes and songs off his latest album release – Getting’ Old. Some inclusions were One Number Away, Hannah Ford Road and Beautiful Crazy (with the latter really living up to its namesake in what was a truly delightful, stripped-back performance). A surprising but very welcome addition came in the form of a medley performed by the band. Each member getting a turn in the spotlight to show off their musical skill or belt out a tune.
It’s impossible to leave out Combs’ rendition of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, a cover which is quickly becoming a welcomed addition to the singer’s repertoire. Combs noted how the 1988 hit was his first favourite song before belting out a performance that Chapman herself would surely be proud of.
I simply could not help myself from sporting a huge grin on my face throughout the whole night. Seeing one of your favourite artists live is truly a treat, and chants for an encore from some of the crowd as the singer left the stage suggested many had been left similarly overjoyed. These calls were answered as Combs marched straight back out to meet the bellowing audience with Beer Never Broke My Heart, all while sporting a pint in his hand and a kilt around his waist. As a Scottish fan of the country singer, you couldn’t help but applaud.
He’s one of the biggest names in the country scene right now, and it was clear that night why. A host of brilliant performances that left his fans up in Scotland grinning from ear-to-ear.