View Original Notice ? Stagecoach 2022: Luke Combs and Smokey Robinson close out the three-day festival
Singer-songwriter Luke Combs finished off the 2022 Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio with a roaring version of “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”
The track was a fitting end to the three-day event, but unlike the other headliners — Thomas Rhett on Friday and Carrie Underwood on Saturday — Combs turn didn’t include a ton of fireworks or superstar guests, but rather just a man and his guitar along with a rippin’ band. He chatted a lot in between songs, mostly about how certain pieces came to be and how grateful he felt to finally have the opportunity to headline the California country festival.
“There’s nowhere I’d rather be on stage right now than right here in front of all of you people,” he said.
He played ‘When It Rains it Pours,” “Cold As You,” “Better Together,” “Five Leaf Clover” and “Houston, We Got a Problem.” He brought out fellow Mane Stage performer Cody Johnson, who Combs called “the baddest man in country music,” to sing along to a cover of Brooks & Dunn’s “Brand New Man.”
With his newest song “Doin’ This,” Combs said he wrote it after a journalist asked him what he’d be doing if he wasn’t headlining shows.
“If I wasn’t headlining Stagecoach, I’d be in the bar across the road playing for anyone,” he said. “This is what I was born to do, man, this is what I love to do.”
The Black Crowes were second up on the Mane Stage and they sounded excellent, however the more bluesy rock band didn’t quite seem to click with the Stagecoach crowd. Though they did cheer and sing along to more popular songs like “She Talks to Angels,” “Jealous Again” and “Hard to Handle,” a lot of the audience just nodded their heads along to the music or took the opportunity to go grab a beer.
R&B legend Smokey Robinson headlined the Palomino Stage on Sunday night for his first appearance at Stagecoach and delivered a beautiful and hit-filled set in front of an audience that swelled well outside the massive covered stage. As his band kicked off, fans packed in and the large screen behind the stage scrolled photos of Robinson’s life and career.
He could be heard warming up his vocals and fans cheered as he belted out a soulful “Ooooo Ooooo Oooo” and walked out onto the stage. He opened with “Being With You” and smiled as fans roared back the lyrics to “I Second That Emotion.” The 82-year-old singer was lively and fun, at one point gyrating his hips and showing off his dance moves. He played hits like “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “Just to See Her,” “Tracks of My Tears” and the audience sang loudly along to “My Girl,” a song he wrote for The Temptations.
The Mavericks were on before Robinson. They showed up with a full brass section and immediately had fans dancing. While a song like “As Long As There’s Loving Tonight” carried a more traditional rock ‘n’ roll beat, “Back In Your Arms” and “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” emulated the rhythms of ska music. They also played songs in Spanish including “La Sitiera” and the crowd went wild during the various guitar and accordion solos.