Jason Aldean returned to Las Vegas to perform at the iHeartRadio Festival, marking his first concert since the tragic Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting last year, which took place while Aldean was on stage. The Georgia native performed at the iHeartRadio Festival, where he took time to honor those impacted by the shooting.
“On behalf of myself and my family and the country music community, I want to say thank you to the city of Las Vegas for your courage, strength and kindness,” said Aldean, joined by radio host Bobby Bones, prior to his performance, via Rolling Stone. “Tonight we are all proud to be Vegas strong.”
Aldean, who also invited first responders on stage, said he is still meeting people who were at the infamous concert.
“Every night in our meet-and-greets we’re meeting fans that were here at that show, and I don’t think we’ve had a show this year that we haven’t had survivors come out to the show,” he said. “We do that on a daily basis, not just because the anniversary is coming up.”
Aldean, who is currently headlining his High Noon Neon Tour, doesn't have a concert scheduled on Oct. 1, which is the one-year anniversary of the shooting. The "Girl Like You" singer is ready to move forward, though, which is why he wanted to return to Las Vegas.
“That’s a day that’s hard to forget. We know it’s coming up,” he said. “To be back in Vegas this close to it is, at times, a little weird, but in another sense it’s nice to be back. It’s really our first performance we’ve had since then, so tonight is going to be another step in getting through all that stuff, and coming back here is going to be a big part of it.”
Aldean also performed last week in Chula Vista, Calif., where he was originally scheduled to perform following the Route 91 Harvest Festival, but canceled after the shooting. Aldean invited several survivors to attend that show as well.
Aldean's Concert for the Cure will be held at his own Jason Aldean's Kitchen + Rooftop Bar in Nashville on Oct. 3. The show will benefit Susan G. Komen Central Tennessee, helping fund both a cure for breast cancer and helping patients receive the care they need.
“As long as I have the chance, I will do my part and raise awareness for this cause,” said Aldean, who so far has raised more than $3.6 million for the worthwhile cause. “My fans keep fighting the battle with this terrible disease along with us, and our dream is that nobody has to fight the disease anymore.”
Find a list of all of Aldean's upcoming shows at JasonAldean.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Denise Truscello