Whether you were there, in person, or saw the horrific video footage, the October 1, 2017 shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas isn’t something anyone will likely forget. Jason Aldean sure hasn’t.
The “Drowns the Whiskey” singer was on stage when shots rang out across the festival grounds. In-ear monitors and a barricaded area in front of the stage prevented Jason from immediately knowing what was going on. Only after he was pulled from the stage by his crew did he learn of what was to be the deadliest mass shooting by one person in the United States.
Eleven months later, survivors, including several other country stars and their teams who were on site that night, are still learning to cope with the horror they witnessed, but one way Jason is dealing with the tragedy is by returning to Las Vegas to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 21.
Jason sat down with Willie Geist on “Sunday Today” and spoke about the feelings he continues to process in the aftermath of the shooting.
“When somebody buys a ticket to our show or comes into an arena to watch you play, you know, want them to come, have fun, get home safe, and come see us next time we’re in town. I mean, the last thing we’re thinking is they’re gonna show up and never leave,” he said.
Sadly, that is what happened for 58 of the concert goers in Las Vegas, and it has left Jason dealing with feelings of guilt.
“I know in my heart that it’s not my fault that that happened,” he says, “but it still doesn’t keep you from feeling guilty that people were there for you.”
Those feelings didn’t prevent Jason and wife Brittany, who was expecting baby Memphis at the time, from returning to the site of the deadly massacre just days after the incident. Willie asked the country star how he felt about forever being associated with that night.
“That’s not something I want on my resumé for the rest of my life,” Jason replied. “Not that I want to forget it, but I choose to not relive it over and over.”