Most of the talk around Brantley Gilbert’s May 4th show will be about how unusual it is for him to be playing with a symphony orchestra. But Gilbert is trying to shift that conversation away from himself and onto James Shaw Jr., the man who risked his life to save dozens of people during a shooting at Waffle House last week.
“When you see someone like James, who just jumped up and did what he did – and you think about the lives he saved, you realize what a special kind of guy he is,” Gilbert says.
Shaw doesn’t like being called a hero, but continues to give and serve those whom he saved in that Waffle House. He recently started a GoFundMe page to support the families and victims of the shooting, a fundraiser that Gilbert and the I Believe in Nashville coalition will be supporting on May 4th.
“I called my manager, Rich Egan, who heads up the I Believe In Nashville coalition, and asked if there was any way we could do something that would shine a light and remind everyone that heroes can be real-life people. We came up with the idea of creating ‘I Believe in Heroism’ t-shirts that we will sell at our May 4th Nashville show and give the proceeds to James.”
The t-shirts reflect the iconic I Believe artwork painted on walls around Nashville, but instead of Tennessee’s three stars, the t-shirt will feature Shaw’s hand, which was severely burnt when he grabbed the hot barrel of the shooter’s AR-15.
“Bad people do bad things,” Gilbert offers. “But good people can do great things. Talking to James before we got up here, he said he’s not a superhero, he’s just a regular person. But I think there has to be some hero inside, that’s where that kind of bravery comes from.”