Last night (Oct. 12), Jason Aldean took the stage for his first full performance since the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. Before kicking things off, he took a moment to talk candidly about how the attack has affected him.
“I hope none of you guys ever experience anything like that,” Aldean told the Tulsa, Okla. crowd. “It’s been a really tough thing to deal with for all of us up here, and I think the one thing that’s probably gonna help us more than anything is playing for you guys tonight, so thank y’all so much for coming out.”
The country star was open about his concern for those who also experienced the shooting on Oct. 1.
“Every day that goes by we think about the 58 that lost their lives, I don’t really count that a**hole that was doing the shooting,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and everyone else who was injured, and everyone else who was just there. Even though people might not have physical scars, it’s gonna be a mental thing for a lot of people for a long time.”
He went on to note the outpouring of support and care that come from across the U.S. for those affected by the shooting.
“Sometimes this country can be really divided, but it’s been really cool to see all the love and support that’s been going on after the last ten days or so. If we can do that on a daily basis, the world would be a lot better place.”
Before beginning his set, he made it clear that the attack would not stop him from doing the things he loves most.
“These people are going to try and continue to do things to us to try and hold us down and be scared,” he said defiantly. “To those people who keep trying to do that, I say f*** you, we don’t really care.”
Although what happened at Route 91 Harvest Festival was on the minds of everyone at the concert, Aldean hoped that the set would help bring some healing.
“I want this to not be something that’s gonna be a downer for the rest of the night,” Aldean stated. “I want to play the show for you guys that the people in Las Vegas came to see and didn’t get a chance to, alright?”
Many concertgoers that night wore shirts and brought signs in support of Aldean, festival first-responders and shooting victims. Aldean also sold shirts with the words “We Won’t Back Down,” with all proceeds going to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund.