WATCH: Luke Combs Covers ‘Carolina’ by Eric Church During Appalachian State Stadium Concert

by Taylor Cunningham

Luke Combs made his stadium concert debut this weekend, and he did it for a sold-out crowd at his alma mater Appalachian State. What a rush that must have been.

Combs walked out onto the stage of Kidd Brewer Stadium last night and was met with 32,000 star-struck, screaming fans. Since the school holds a special place in his heart, he decided to tell his fans the story that led him to become a country legend in the making. After all, he would never have grown up to be a Grammy-nominated country crooner without Andy Stoker, Eric Church, or Appalachian State.

In 2009, Luke Combs was a freshman on campus, and he was disenchanted with country music. He had once been a fan, but at some point, the genre stopped making him feel something in his soul. Then one night, his friend Andy walked into his dorm room and invited him to a concert at a local bar.

“Hey, I got this guy that I think you would like. He’s playing at Legends tonight, and his name is Eric Church,” Luke recalled his friend saying.

“If Andy Stoker doesn’t walk into my room on the third floor of Dalton residence hall in 2009, this show doesn’t happen,” he told the roaring crowd of Mountaineers.

Then Luke decided to do a few encores—because why would he want the night to end? But he really got the fans amped when the first riff of Eric Church’s Carolina played.

Combs finished his set by singing Beer Never Broke My Heart. But before he did, he screamed to the crowd, “this show is the number one show that I have played.”

Luke Combs Believes that Chris Stapleton Made Nashville ‘Snap Out’ of Traditional Outlook on Artists

Eric Church isn’t Luke Combs’s only country idol. Christ Stapleton also holds a special place in the Beautiful Crazy singer’s heart.

While chatting on The Marty Smith Podcast, Luke said that Chris Stapleton got Music City out of a rut and paved the way for a new generation of country artists.

“Chris Stapleton happened before I did. I think he definitely kicked the door open for someone to go, ‘Look at this guy…’ I think he made people snap out of it for a minute and go, ‘Oh my God, how could we have missed this guy,’” he said.

And Luke has a good reason to thank him for that. He and Chris both have that raspy, soulful sound to them. So Stapleton’s instant fame made Luke Combs a lot more desirable when he was shopping for record deals. Though, we know that Luke Combs would have climbed to the top either way.

And Luke also admitted that he was listening to Stapleton before Stapleton made a name for himself.

Luke Combs then went on to say that Stapleton had almost 300 cuts before finding stardom, but once his poetic songs went mainstream, he finally got the credit he deserved.

“He just got that opportunity and everybody saw him and so many people loved him.”