Jason Aldean Says His First Las Vegas Shows After Route 91 Will Be ‘Emotional,’ But Ultimately Healing
After the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, Jason Aldean wasn't sure exactly when -- or how -- he'd return to a Las Vegas stage. It was during his headlining set at the festival on Oct. 1, 2017, that a gunman opened fire on the massive crowd of concertgoers, killing 59 people. To this day, the tragedy remains the deadliest non-war shooting in U.S. history.
Since Route 91, Aldean has been back to Las Vegas, but never for a full show -- until now. On Friday (Dec. 6), he'll begin a three-night residency at the Park Theatre at Park MGM Las Vegas. At a recent press event, the singer explained that his upcoming three shows fit the kind of return to Vegas he was looking for, both in terms of venue and in terms of timing.
"We had an opportunity to go back out and do not one show but three, and do it in a smaller setting," Aldean explains. "There's gonna be a lot of people at that show that were at Route 91, and the smaller the venue -- some of these people may not have been to a show since then, you know what I mean? So the smaller the venue, I feel like it'll kind of make them feel a little more at ease. It's a little bit more intimate."
Aldean acknowledges that there's no way a return to Las Vegas won't feel a little strange -- and that's okay. "I just think it's gonna be a little odd for us every time we go there. And I'm not saying we're not looking forward to it, because I really am," he continues. "But there's always going to be a little bit of a different vibe, I think, around any show we ever play out there."
In fact, that difference extends beyond the city of Las Vegas to the entire West Coast, he points out. "We went and did a run in California last year and had a ton of Route 91 survivors out there. It was almost one of those shows where we didn't know what to expect. Like, 'Man, is this gonna be really somber [and have] this weird kind of mood for the show?' And it ended up being some of the best shows we had the whole year," Aldean says.
"I kind of expect it to be the same in Las Vegas," the country star goes on to say. "I think it's gonna be a blast. I think it's probably gonna be an emotional thing for a lot of people, a lot of the fans that are coming. Probably a little bit for us, too, being back out there."
Still, Aldean hopes that, ultimately, the experience will be a healing one for all parties. "I'm excited that we're going. I think it'll be good for everybody," he concludes.
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