Country duo Big & Rich were one of the many acts who performed at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas over the weekend ahead of the tragedy that struck Sunday night when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on the festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel during Jason Aldean's set.
Big Kenny and John Rich had performed around 90 minutes ahead of Aldean and had left the venue on their tour bus for an after-show down the street at country music bar Redneck Riviera, which Rich owns. When the shooting began, the duo remained in lockdown at the bar.
“It was hysteria blocks away,” Kenny told Entertainment Tonight. “They thought there were multiple shooters throughout the city. When fear and hysteria starts spreading like that, you don’t know …
Rich shared that he called his friend DJ Silver, who plays with Aldean, upon hearing about the shooting, and learned that he had been “thrown into the back of a pickup truck.”
“His 6-month-old son and the nanny were in the room next door to the shooter on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay,” Rich said. “It took him and his wife three or four hours before they could find their baby.”
“Our rooms were right underneath where his room was,” Kenny added. “I was looking down at the festival the whole day. I was watching all the fans coming into the festival. It’s as heartbreaking of an event as you can possibly have.
Kenny added that despite the attack, he and Rich won't let fear stop them from performing.
“Fear will not overtake us,” he said. “We will continue to march forward with our music. I know that all the artists out there, we are all so concerned right now, first and foremost about our fans, but [we] will not let this stop us in any way.”0comments
“We will go forth every day and shine the light of love as bright as we possibly can against all the darkness and outrageous things like this that might ever come upon our path in life,” he continued. “And we will continue to walk in God’s light the best we can.”
Photo Credit: Twitter / @bigandrich