Approximately 22,000 tickets were sold for the event, as part of Combs’ “What You See Is What You Get” tour, named after their 2019 album of the same name. This is only the second concert at the center since the coronavirus pandemic spread to the region, shortly after KISS performed at the Alerus Center in February 2020. The CEO of the Alerus center, Anna Rosburg, said it was “amazing” not only to book a number like Combs, but to set a new record, and in such a short time for ticket sales.
“It’s definitely the attendance record,” said Rosburg. “He broke the record just days after it went on sale. (In) the history of the installation, and as you know the installation is 20 years old, that’s a pretty big record. “
Combs took the stage and performed a series of his hits, after opening acts Drew Parker and Ashley McBryde completed their sets. Combs is best known for being a chart-topping country artist, with hits such as “Lovin ‘on You” and “Beer Never Broke My Heart” both from the tour’s namesake album.
“North Dakota, how are you feeling tonight?” Combs asked, when he took the stage at 9 p.m.
Shortly before launching into the song ‘One Too Many’, he added, “There are probably a lot of people who will have too many drinks tonight. If you are one of those people, this one is for you.
And with that, the crowd, already standing and screaming from the moment Combs and his band took the stage to the sound of AC / DC’s “Thunderstruck”, went berserk.
The Combs set was played from a stage in the middle of the floor of the Alerus Center. He walked around the stage, approaching one member of the group or another. People in ‘the pit’, the area for people standing around the stage, jumped and sang in unison, then the whole audience howled in approval as Combs kicked a plastic cup. red – maybe filled with beer? – on the ecstatic crowd.
Brian Veehlar of Bismarck attended the concert with his wife, two daughters and sons-in-law. It was the fourth time he had seen Combs play. He knew from the first time he heard his music that he would be a fan.
“This is my first time coming here for a gig, but it looks phenomenal,” said Veehlar, of Comb’s stage setup. “When I heard ‘When it rains, it rains’, that’s the first song I heard, I’ve loved Luke Combs since.
Combs was originally scheduled to perform at the Alerus Center in early October 2020, but was rescheduled when the coronavirus pandemic ground tour ceased.
Speaking earlier on Friday, Rosburg said the show was not fully sold out, but she couldn’t say for sure how many tickets, if any, were left for those who bought them at the door.
It would be a long day for Rosburg. Crews at Center Alerus had to dismantle and take out the Combs facility, in order to prepare Center Alerus for the Fighting Hawks’ Potato Bowl game against Drake on Sunday at 4 p.m. Rosburg said she had a bag. packed in case she needs to stay at the Alerus Center.
The attendance of Combs of about 22,000 people exceeds that of the some 20,000 people who came to see George Strait in 2013. Cher sold just over 19,500 tickets in 2002, and nearly 17,000 people came to see Metallica in 2018, this concert set records for merchandise, food and drink sold.
“What You See Is What You Get” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 All Genres chart, as well as Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart with the equivalent of 172,000 units sold, according to reports on the Alerus Center website. It was also a world No. 1 album, topping the charts in Canada, Australia and the UK.
Combs’ debut album, “This One’s For You,” was recently certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album was released in 2017.