Country star Jason Aldean was back on stage for the first stop on his “They Don’t Know” tour since the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. Speaking to fans in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Aldean promised to “play the show that the people in Las Vegas came to see and didn’t get a chance to.” Referencing the 58 innocent country music-lovers that were gunned down at the Route 91 Harvest Festival by alleged shooter Stephen Paddock, Aldean continued his impassioned speech:
“Every day that goes by we think about the 58 that lost their lives, I don’t really count that asshole that was doing the shooting. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and everyone else who was injured, and everyone else who was just there,” he said. Even though people might not have physical scars, it’s gonna be a mental thing for a lot of people for a long time.”
After honoring those who never got to hear Aldean’s sold-out show, the “Lights Come On” singer urged his supporters not to cower in fear, and to stand strong -together- in the wake of such a horrific event. They’re gonna try to continue to hold us down … make us live in fear and be scared,” he said, in reference to the recent attacks inflicted at entertainment venues worldwide. “To those people I say: F–you, we don’t really care.”
Aldean’s cry for unity in the face of adversity was met by his fans with screams, cheers, and waving American flags, a welcome that the singer was relieved to receive.
“For the last 10 days, we really didn’t know what it was gonna be like to get up here and play for you guys. We didn’t know how tonight was gonna go,” he said, addressing concert-goers following his encore.
Aldean’s triumphant return to the stage proved to be a cathartic step in moving forward, for both the country singer and the nation.