Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney were not booked to perform at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival.
But the victims of the massacre that occurred at the sold-out event in Las Vegas were top of mind when the band opened its Night to Shine residency at the Venetian.
Before Friday’s (Oct. 6) opening performance, DeMarcus and Rooney spoke briefly to honor the 58 families who lost loved ones in the incident, which is deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“There are no words that can adequately express the confusion, the frustration, the sadness, the pain and the anger that we all deal with when we’re faced with unspeakable evil such as the events that unfolded just a few nights ago in this city,” DeMarcus said.
Rooney added that they didn’t know whether opening their new Vegas show was the right thing to do.
“But we quickly came to the conclusion that, no matter what, we’re not going to let evil win,” he said. “We’re here tonight, and the rest of this residency, to make a statement.”
CMT’s philanthropic initiative CMT One Country is supporting the Red Cross in the wake of this mass shooting. Our hearts are with everyone affected by the tragedy.
If you are in Nevada and would like to donate blood, please go to www.bloodhero.com to find out where to give.
Rascal Flatts’ new Night to Shine production continues Wednesday (Oct. 11) at the Venetian.