Country 2 Country Festival (C2C)

C2C Festival: Luke Combs – London O2 Arena Live Review

Luke Combs was the one name on the C2C bill that made everyone over excited from the moment he was announced. Luke has burst onto the scene with an incredible amount of success which has gone from strength to strength in just a matter of months.

Luke’s debut record This One’s For You was one of the most talked about albums of last year amongst UK country fans and the fact he was coming to play the UK so soon was something we never expected.

I liked Luke’s record, it isn’t one I play continuously but I do like it, however, I just knew that live, this man was going to impress.

First on the bill on the Saturday O2 main stage, Luke’s built up entrance from his band had the audience foot stomping and cheering.

Luke casually walked on stage holding a drink which he held whenever he wasn’t holding a guitar. Luke’s gruff, raw country rock voice projected throughout the arena and he had the crowd from the very start. It definitely showed that Luke was undeniably an act most people were eager to see and he certainly didn’t disappoint them.

I felt like Luke didn’t have to do much to impress as his voice alone was enough to “wow” the crowd. Luke’s music was certainly made for a live setting – it had much more impact on stage and translated much better live than it does on record but I also think it is one of those situations that after seeing him live, you put his record on and re-live the moment every time you play it.

Luke took us to a more traditional country side of him when he performed Honky Tonk Highway. This was a memorable part of the show and seemed to grab the attention of the more traditional fan and proved that there is more to him than a country rock artist. One thing I learned from his press conference earlier that day is just how much of a country music fan he is as well as an artist – he is very much influenced by nineties country and it showed in his set.

When It Rains It Pours was a highlight for me. Having sung an acoustic version of the song during Thursday’s CMA Songwriters Series show, this song had already converted me slightly to be a bigger fan but with a full band, it was even more impressive. His acoustic version made you hear the lyrics properly and appreciate his talents as a songwriter but the full band performance just made you love and respect just how big of a song it truly is and by the reaction of the crowd you could hear that I wasn’t alone in thinking this.

Luke came across really well personality wise on stage too. Often interacting with the crowd, Luke had a great Like ability and when he announced he was adding an extra date at Shepherds Bush after the first one sold out, you could see he was in awe of his fan base.

Luke treated us with a cover of Take It Easy by The Eagles and followed this by introducing us to his exceptional band who played magnificently throughout his set I must add.

New song Beer Never Broke My Heart went down well as did other songs off the album such as One Number Away.

Closing the show with his hugely successful hit Hurricane which is stellar live, Luke proved that he was going to be one of the biggest things in country music and next time he is at C2C, there is no way he will be the opener.

If anyone wasn’t aware of Luke in that audience, they certainly were now.

Luke returns to the UK in October for a string of headline shows. Get your tickets quick as they are selling out fast.

Set List

Out There
She Got the Best of Me
Honky Tonk Highway
Beer Never Broke My Heart
When It Rains It Pours
One Number Away
Take It Easy (The Eagles – cover)

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