BILLINGS — The air was electric outside First Interstate Arena in Billings on Tuesday evening, as country music singer Luke Combs was expected to play to a crowd 10,000 strong.
One thing is for sure, people were ready to see some live music. The concert was originally scheduled for October 2020 but had to be pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vanessa Richards, 49, of Broadus was particularly excited to see one of two opening acts: Ashley McBryde.
"We had the tickets for a year and a half and then they postponed it and I didn't know if Ashley McBryde was going to show up, but she's my favorite and she's here," Richards said.
Another country artist, Ray Fulcher, was scheduled to play the show as well. Richards said she made the drive to Billings for the show with her family.
"I came up here with my sister and my kids and her kids and it's just nice to be together and out again doing something fun," said Richards.
Luke Combs tour, titled "What You See Is What You Get", even drew some up from Wyoming. Wyatt Larson, 22 of Sheridan, has been waiting for the concert for months.
"We tried to get tickets a couple of years ago, then it got canceled due to COVID and all of that. A couple months ago we got the opportunity to get tickets and we booked them right away," Larson said. "He's one of my wife and I's favorite country singers."
Glasgow teens Isabella Hood, 18, and Halle Burris, 16, traveled for six hours with their parents to see the show. The girls were excited to hear Combs' song "Beautiful Crazy".
"That's our favorite song," said Hood.
"When we go cruising, that's all we listen to," Burris added.
"Small town, so the only thing you can do is drive and listen to music," Hood concluded.
For some, the concert was the first time they've been out and about since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was the case for Billings married couple Greg and Jessica Contrarez, who hadn't been to a concert since Garth Brooks had a two-day stint in Billings in 2017.
"I was actually worried it wasn't going to happen," Greg said.
"He bought tickets the second they went on sale for the original show," Jessica added.
The couple shared the sentiment that it was good to be back for a night out on the town.
"Kind of get back to a normal feel actually. Just because we've been cooped up at home most of the time. We haven't really gone out on a trip even really," Greg said.
The pair married in 2020 and hoped to hear the music used as their first dance: Combs' song, "Better Together".