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Aldean Returns to the Scene of the Crime

The country singer last performed there on a grim night in 2017
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2019 2:00 PM CST
George Strait, left, and Jason Aldean, winner of the Dick Clark artist of the decade award, walk offstage at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April...   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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(Newser) – It's been two years—and Jason Aldean clearly hasn't forgotten. The country singer played in Las Vegas on Friday night for the first time since the worst mass shooting in US history interrupted his show, People reports. "Tonight's a really special night for us," he said on stage. "We got a lot of people in the crowd who are family to us. ... It's our first show back and make no mistake about it tonight, we came back to blow it out for you guys tonight. Let's finish what we started, what y'all think!" He didn't talk much about the terror of Oct. 1, 2017— when 58 people were slain and more than 800 wounded by a gunman at a hotel window—except when he began "When She Says Baby," the song he was singing when the attack started.

"Last time we were starting this song here, we got a little interrupted," he said. "So let's finish it." He also ended the show by covering Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," which he sang on SNL a few days after the mass killing. And he has talked about the ongoing effect of that horrific night, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. "For us, it's sort of been a daily thing. Every night in our meet-and-greets, we meet new fans who were here," he said in 2018. "I don't think we've played a show this year where we haven’t had survivors come out to the show. I feel we do that on a daily basis." TMZ looks back on the shooting, re-posting videos from Aldean's concert and noting that despite all their hard work, authorities never figured out the gunman's motive. (Read more mass shootings stories.)

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