Luke Combs Shares Why Summer Crowds Amp Up Energy To 'A Whole Other Level'

Photo: Getty Images

Luke Combs delivered an electrifying opening weekend to kick off his 2024 headlining tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (followed by his own tour of a local brewery).

The award-winning country star recently caught up with iHeartCountry about the tour — promising that the music will be “doing the talking as usual” — the energy of the crowds at summer concerts, which covers to expect in his setlist (particularly, after releasing his historic rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which made Chapman the first Black woman to win a CMA Award and led to an unforgettable collaborative performance at the Grammy Awards earlier this year), his nominations at the upcoming 59th ACM Awards and more.

Combs posted his list of “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old Tour” dates in August 2023, which includes more than two dozen shows spanning into August. The lineups include Cody Jinks, The Avett Brothers, Charles Wesley Godwin, Hailey Whitters, The Wilder Blue, Jordan Davis, Mitchell Tenpenny, Drew Parker and Colby Acuff, per that announcement. The country singer-songwriter and father of two (he and wife Nicole Combs share two young sons, Tex Lawrence, who arrived in June 2022, and Beau Lee, who was born in August) released his latest full-length album last year. Gettin’ Old followed 2022’s Growin’ Up. Collectively, the projects include “Doin’ This,” “Any Given Friday Night,” “Outrunnin’ Your Memory” with Miranda Lambert, “Going, Going, Gone,” “Groin’ Up and Gettin’ Old,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Fast Car,” “5 Leaf Clover” and many other highlights. Combs has since shared sneak peeks of unreleased music on his social media pages, including a ballad about fatherhood.

April 12 - Milwaukee, WI - American Family Field

April 13 - Milwaukee, WI - American Family Field

April 19 - Buffalo, NY - Highmark Stadium

April 20 - Buffalo, NY - Highmark Stadium

April 27 - University Park, PA - Beaver Stadium

May 3 - Jacksonville, FL - EverBank Stadium

May 4 - Jacksonville, FL - EverBank Stadium

May 10 - San Antonio, TX - Alamodome

May 11 - San Antonio, TX - Alamodome

May 17 - Santa Clara, CA - Levi’s® Stadium

May 18 - Santa Clara, CA - Levi’s® Stadium

May 31 - Phoenix, AZ - State Farm Stadium

June 1 - Phoenix, AZ - State Farm Stadium

June 7 - Salt Lake City, UT - Rice-Eccles Stadium

June 8 - Salt Lake City, UT - Rice-Eccles Stadium

June 14 - Los Angeles, CA - SoFi Stadium

June 15 - Los Angeles, CA - SoFi Stadium

July 19 - East Rutherford, NJ - MetLife Stadium

July 20 - East Rutherford, NJ - MetLife Stadium

July 26 - Washington, D.C. - FedExField

July 27 - Washington, D.C. - FedExField

August 2 - Cincinnati, OH - Paycor Stadium

August 3 - Cincinnati, OH - Paycor Stadium

August 9 - Houston, TX - NRG Stadium

August 10 - Houston, TX - NRG Stadium

Looking ahead throughout the year, Combs is gearing up for the 59th ACM Awards, returning next month to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Combs is the most-nominated artist, including in the Entertainer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Single of the Year categories. He’s also prepping to open Category 10, a new multi-level bar and entertainment venue set to open in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, among other plans on the horizon (“y’all will know soon,” he said). 

Catch up with Luke Combs in his iHeartCountry Q&A below (edited for length or clarity).

iHeartCountry: Your tour just kicked off in Milwaukee. What can you tell us about what to expect at the show this year?

Luke Combs: As much as I wish I could say something super new and exciting, it’s really just going to be more of the same. And that’s not to sound boring, but it’s just who I am. It will be me, my guitar, and my band and we’ll be playing the hits the folks want to hear, as well as some newer stuff. Nothing fancy, just the music doing the talking as usual.

iHC: What’s the best part about touring in the summer? What’s the energy like from the crowd at summer shows?

LC: There is nothing like the feeling of enjoying good music with a beer in hand on a summer night. There is something so special about the summer crowds, the energy, you can really feel it. It is at a whole other level. It's such a surreal experience that feels so unbelievable and yet also feels like home.

iHC: You’ve obviously had massive success in the last year with your music, including your cover of “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman (and a collaborative performance from the two of you at the Grammy Awards). Has that inspired any other covers you have planned for live shows? Have you been listening to any artists who have especially been inspiring to you lately?

LC: There will be a couple covers in there for sure. I have played “Brand New Man” [by Brooks & Dunn] in my set for years now as well as Ed Sheeran's song “Dive,” and they'll be sticking around this year, too. I'm excited about The Wilder Blue. I just did a song with them.

iHC: You always have a strong lineup of special guests joining you on tour. What should we know about the artists fans will see at your shows this year?

LC: That they’re all awesome. I think they each bring something different to the table for each night and it will make for a great show.

iHC: Tell me about your Tour Trucker hat idea via the Miller Lite collaboration (Combs even toured the Miller Brewery ahead of his Milwaukee tour stops). How did this idea come about? How could it potentially also act as a ticket to the show (more info here)?

LC: The Miller Lite x Luke Combs Tour Trucker is my very own Miller Lite exclusive trucker hat. I love Miller Lite hats. I have a huge collection of them and wear them all the time. So when Miller Lite came to me about creating my own, I was stoked. We made sure to add elements of my album art and Miller Lite’s design throughout. The end design is really cool. Plus, it's not only a great hat, but those [21+] who purchase the hat will automatically get the chance to win two tickets to come see me live on tour at a show of their choosing.

iHC: You’re the most-nominated artist at the ACM Awards, returning on Thursday, May 16. Where were you when you heard the news/what was that moment like?

LC: I was at home with my family and it was humbling as always. Those kind of these never get old and never truly seem real. The feeling of just knowing your peers appreciate and respect what you’re doing in Country Music is super appreciative.

iHC: When you reflect back on the last year leading to these award nominations, what are some of your proudest moments that led to this point?

LC: My son Tex turning 1, the birth of my second son, Beau, celebrating 3 years of being married to Nicole, and a World Tour. I’m a lucky man. Truly.

iHC: You, of course, are kicking off your tour, you’ve been teasing a few unreleased songs, you have Category 10 coming to Downtown Nashville... What’s coming up next for you that we should keep an eye out for?

LC: Well, I can’t really tell you that right now but y’all will know soon.