Luke Combs: Socially Distancing But Still Showing Up

This 20-Minute Garage Show Is the Antidote We All Need Right Now

This is kind of becoming our new normal: while the world tries to stay socially distant to stop the spread of the coronavirus, country artists are finding ways to stay connected to the fans.

Even if that means playing a show for a purely virtual crowd.

That’s what Luke Combs did on Tuesday night (March 17) on Instagram. Much like Keith Urban did the day before.

“Pumped I was able to play a couple of songs for y’all! Thankful technology allows us to connect like this and forget about everything that’s going on for a little while. Everyone stay safe and keep up with the World Health Organization (@who) for all of the latest: www.who.int,” Combs shared when he posted the video for anyone and everyone who might have missed it when it was live.

Combs started the 20-minute show by first asking how everyone was doing and then explaining what he was up to.

“Hope you guys are doing good. Crazy times. I’m here in my garage in the middle of Tennessee somewhere,” he shared. “And I just felt like playing some music. It’s awesome we have stuff like this to be able to see each other. I’m gonna play a couple songs tonight, just to try to take your mind off things a little bit.”

Then he said he was going to play one cover song and one new song. But then, after doing Tracy Chapman’s 1988 debut single “Fast Car” and then his new song “When It’s Raining,”* Combs decided to keep going. “I said I was gonna do two, but here we are. I figured why not just keep going? I mean, what else do any of us have to do anyway,” he said.

To introduce his 2017 hit “When It Rains It Pours,” Combs said the song was inspired by some of the early tongue-in-cheek music of Brad Paisley. He wrote it with Ray Fulcher and Jordan Walker, and recalled having the title in mind. “I had pitched the title as a really slow, really sad thing. And Jordan said, ’What if the song is fun? What if it’s not the most depressing song you’ve ever heard?'”

And with that, the uptempo bright-side-of-a-break-up hit was born.

After that, Combs played his very first single from 2016, “Hurricane,” saying it was the song that changed everything for him. (He also encouraged his fans to sing along, even though he wouldn’t be able to hear them.)

* About the new song, “When It’s Raining”:
“I spent some time before this whole crazy quarantine thing writing songs for a couple weeks. We didn’t really have this situation in mind that we are in now when we wrote it, but it feels an appropriate song to play,” he said of the song he wrote with James McNair and Reid Isbell. “We were sitting around down there at the beach, and it was raining outside. And it never rains at the beach. And (fiance) Nicole was like, ’Man, what do you do when it’s raining?'”

Combs is planning to do another garage show next week, and every week that we’re all quarantined. Stay tuned for details.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.
@alisonbonaguro