Jason Aldean will never forget the harrowing events of October 1, 2017. On the December 12 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the country star opened about coping with trauma after the Las Vegas shooting. Jason, 42, and his band were onstage when the shooting began. The “Night Train” singer made his first return to Sin City for a performance December 6, and spoke about the emotional experience.
Jason revealed why he wanted to go back to Las Vegas and why he felt the timing was finally right. “It’s obviously something that I wouldn’t wish on anybody,” he said. “I think for us going back to Vegas was something we wanted to do the right way. We didn’t want to go in and try to do it too soon.”
The four-time Grammy nominee added, “We felt like there was going to be a lot of people at our show that probably hadn’t been to one of our shows, maybe hadn’t been to a concert at all since that show. If they were going to come back out and that was part of the healing process for them.”
On October 1, 2017, at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a shooting occurred which killed 58 people and injured over 800. A gunman opened fire from his 32nd floor hotel suite at an adjacent hotel. Jason was onstage and only four songs into his set when the first shots rang out. He and his band took cover and fled the scene, along with the 22,000 attendees that evening. The shooting is the deadliest massacre in modern United States history.
Jason wanted to make his first Vegas concert after the shooting a tribute to those who were affected. He also choose a venue that was smaller than the last one. “We wanted to make it a safer environment, something to make them feel safer. We did Park MGM, a little 5,000 seat arena. The other one was outside, 30,000-40,000 people or whatever it was,” the country crooner explained. “This was a little smaller, little more intimate where people can come and hopefully, feel a little more at ease, hopefully, help some of them.”
Jason also spoke about how difficult it was to get back on tour after the mass shooting. “It was rough,” he confessed. “The best thing for me was the fact that my wife was there and went through it, my band was there and went through it, my crew, everybody. We kind of leaned on each other and talked through it, nobody kept it bottled up. If you had a breakdown, you kind of had it in front of everybody and everybody knew what was going on.”
The “You Make It Easy” singer added, “We’re part of the Route 91 family now, so it’s a cool group.”
During the December 6 show, Jason gave a special shoutout to the Route 91 family. “It’s good to be back here in Las Vegas,” he announced during the show. “It’s our first show back and make no mistake about it tonight, we came back to blow it out for you guys tonight. Let’s finish what we started, what y’all think!”