No musician should ever experience the pain of having one of their concerts turn into a crime scene. But it happened to Jason Aldean when he closed the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. He was just a few songs into his headlining set when bullets started raining down on the sold-out crowd of approximately 20,000 fans, killing 58 and injuring 489 people.
“Our guitars and everything stayed on the stage out in Vegas for almost two weeks after that,” Aldean revealed. “We finally started getting all our gear back, and my bass player opened up his bass that he was playing that night. And there was a bullet lodged in his bass … people sometimes will ask me, ’How close were y’all really to it?’ And I’m like, ’Well, that close.’ My bass player who stands to my left had a bullet lodged in his guitar.”
Aldean says the birth of his son Memphis helped him heal from everything witnessed that night.
“Within a couple of months,” Aldean said, “I saw the worst thing you could possibly experience, and then I saw the best thing you could possibly experience with him being born. It gave me something else to focus on and gave me a reason to look forward to the new year and getting the chance to get back out there and do what it is that I love to do.
“I also know that out of all the shows that I’ve ever played, this happened this one time. It’s not the norm. Just getting back out and doing what it is that we do that to me is the only way to honor anybody.”