Jason Aldean ‘Finishes What He Started’ at First Las Vegas Concert Since 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting
Over the weekend (Dec. 6-8), Jason Aldean played his first three full shows in Las Vegas, Nev., since the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting that began during his set at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. The three-night stand began Friday (Dec. 6) at Park MGM’s Park Theater.
“We got a lot of people in the crowd who are family to us, so welcome everyone from Route 91,” Aldean told the crowd (quote via People). “We came back to blow it out for you guys tonight. Let’s finish what we started."
USA Today reports that Aldean ended Friday’s set with “When She Says Baby,” the song he'd been playing when the shooting began. “Last time we were starting this song here, we got a little interrupted,” he said that night. “Let’s finish it.”
On Friday night, Aldean and his band also revisited a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' “I Won’t Back Down,” which they performed on Saturday Night Live six days after the 2017 tragedy. The country star later released his version of the song for download, with proceeds going to a fund for the victims of the shooting.
The 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting remains the deadliest non-war mass shooting in American history. Fifty-eight people died in the shooting and the immediate aftermath, while a 59th person recently died due to her injuries. Hundreds of others were injured as well.
Aldean and his wife Brittany visited survivors in Las Vegas shortly after the shooting; later that fall, Aldean performed at an all-star fundraiser for shooting's victims. Aldean last appeared in Las Vegas in April, to accept the ACM’s Artist of the Decade award at the 2019 ACM Awards ceremony.
Prior to his three Las Vegas shows, Aldean admitted that he was expecting a large number of Route 91 attendees to be there, and was hoping that the smaller venue would "kind of make them feel a little more at ease." He acknowledged, however, that, no matter where he played, performing in Vegas would feel strange.
"I just think it's gonna be a little odd for us every time we go there. And I'm not saying we're not looking forward to it, because I really am," he said. "But there's always going to be a little bit of a different vibe, I think, around any show we ever play out there ...
"I think it's gonna be a blast," Aldean added. "I think it's probably gonna be an emotional thing for a lot of people, a lot of the fans that are coming. Probably a little bit for us, too, being back out there."
Remembering the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Victims