Watch Jason Aldean’s Honest, Defiant Speech During First Concert Since Route 91
During his first concert since the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas, Nev., Jason Aldean gave an honest, defiant speech about the days since the tragedy and how he's moving forward. Readers can press play above to watch.
Following the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting on Oct. 1 -- during which he was onstage -- Aldean canceled three tour dates “out of respect for the victims, their families and our fans.” Although he made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 7, his Thursday night (Oct. 12) show in Tulsa, Okla., was Aldean's first They Don't Know Tour stop since the shooting.
"As you guys know, man, it's been a tough week and a half for all of us up here onstage, and I want to say, thank you guys for being here tonight. You guys are gonna help us get through this," Aldean told the crowd at Tulsa's BOK Center. "I hope none of you guys ever experience anything like that. 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."
Later on in his speech, Aldean shared that he had been struggling with figuring out how to play Thursday night's show "because I really didn't know how this was gonna go -- how we were gonna act, how you guys were gonna react to us." However, he realized that his philosophy of giving concertgoers a chance to "forget about their daily problems" was still pertinent.
"What I want to do tonight -- I want this to not be something that's gonna be a downer for the rest of the night," Aldean said. "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?"
Remembering the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Victims
Aldean admitted that, since the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, he's been thinking daily about the 58 people who died that night ("I don't really count that a--hole that was doing the shooting," he added), and about those who were injured and those who escaped unharmed physically but with emotional scars.
"Even though people may not have physical scars, it's going to be a mental thing for a lot of people for a long time," Aldean noted, "and so I just wanna say thank you guys for allowing us to be here tonight, allowing us to take the next step in getting past it all."
Onstage, Aldean said that he's been pleased to see people coming together to support those affected by the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. The U.S. can seem "really divided a lot of times," he added, but "if we could [act how we have been since the shooting] on a daily basis, man, the world would be a lot better place."
Near the end of his five-minute speech, Aldean issued a warning to those people who "are gonna continue to try and hold us down and continue to try to do things to us that are gonna make us live in fear and be scared and not go out and do what it is we wanna do": "F--k you."
"We don't really care what you try to say, what you try to do to us," Aldean added.
On Sunday (Oct. 8), Aldean and his wife Brittany -- who was also at the Route 91 Harvest Festival -- returned to Las Vegas to visit with some of the victims of the tragedy.
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