The memories of the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre in Las Vegas are still vivid for those who were there on Oct. 1, 2017 when gunshots rang out from a window of the Mandalay Bay hotel. That’s also true even for those who weren’t present, but watched on their TVs, computers and devices as chaos ensued when bullets rained down on the thousands watching Jason Aldean onstage. It wasn’t immediately certain where the shots were coming from, how many shooters were there or even what was happening.
Jason himself was initially oblivious to what was happening due to his in-ear monitors that filter out much of the noise off stage, as well as the bright stage lights that limit an artist’s visibility. Even after he heard band members telling him to “run” for his safety, he had no idea what he was running from or where to go. Or, most importantly, where his very pregnant wife, Brittany, was in all the chaos.
After taking some time to process what happened that night, the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year has not shied away from talking about the incident and the impact it has had on so many country music fans’ lives, as well as his own.
Just last week, he appeared on the national radio show “Ty, Kelly & Chuck,” where he told the hosts, “It wasn’t until we got off the road and had a little downtime to get yourself together a little bit” that he’s had a chance to process what happened. As for having that downtime, he said, “I think that’s been a big help.”
Now, the country music superstar is making the media rounds to promote his new single, “You Make It Easy,” his upcoming album, “Rearview Town” and his next tour, “High Noon Neon,” set to kick off in May. During an appearance with “Today” show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, Jason spoke about how having a new baby in his house —son Memphis—has helped with the healing process. But first, after Kathie Lee commented that the award-winning singer was a “new daddy to boot,” he reminded her, “Daddy again,” referring to his older daughters, Keeley and Kendyl.
As for Vegas, he said, “Obviously, something like that happens and it makes you sort of look at everything different, and each day is kind of a blessing … And my wife was there. She was seven or eight months pregnant at the show that night, and so [Memphis] being born and stuff, obviously, is a really special thing for us, as [it is with] any baby, but with him, especially, [after] going through that. It’s been nice.”
That’s a good reason to be grateful.
And maybe that’s why the Georgia boy chose to turn things up a bit … actually a lot … when he performed for “Today’s” fourth hour. Instead of promoting his new single, “You Make It Easy,” Jason and the boys kicked it into overdrive and cranked out a rousing rendition of the fan favorite and early morning waker-upper, “My Kinda Party.”
Of course, we’re all grateful that Jason and Brittany escaped harm during that fateful day in Las Vegas and that Memphis made a happy and healthy arrival on Dec. 1, 2017. But our hearts and prayers remain steadfastly with those still recovering from the physical and emotional injuries they sustained that October night, and with the families and friends who lost a loved one.