Sugarland returned to the stage Thursday night (Aug. 18) for the first time since their tragic concert in Indianapolis five days earlier. Jennifer Nettles, surrounded on stage by Kristian Bush and their band and crew, asked the audience in Albuquerque, N.M., for a moment of silence.
“I am sure that by now all of you are well aware of the tragedy that occurred at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday,” Nettles told the audience before launching their set. “Moments before we were about to take the stage, a huge gust of wind blew in and collapsed the entire stage, wounding over 40 people and killing five. In honor of those people who were wounded and those beautiful lives that were lost, we ask you to stand and join us now in a moment of silence.”
Following about 10 seconds of quiet, Bush strummed the guitar and the duo sang an abbreviated version of “Love” from their album Love on the Inside album.
After concluding the musical tribute, Nettles added, “So we know, Albuquerque, that you guys came to see a show. Obviously, in the loss of our set and our instruments and our equipment, this Incredible Machine looks very different right now. But we are going to try our best to put on our professional faces and come out here for you and celebrate a moment with you of the joy and the healing power of music.”
As previously reported, Nettles and Bush are planning to return to Indianapolis at a later date for a private service honoring the six people who died following Saturday’s (Aug. 13) accident at the Indiana State Fair. The accident occurred when a strong wind gust hit the stage at the outdoor grandstand and toppled a canopy, scaffolding and other equipment into the crowd just moments before Sugarland and their band were scheduled to go onstage.
Sugarland’s tour continues with stops Friday (Aug. 19) in Englewood, Colo., and Saturday in Salt Lake City.