On Friday (Dec. 6), country superstar Jason Aldean returned to Las Vegas for his first full concert since the horrific mass shooting that took place while he was on stage performing at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in 2017.
The ACM Artist of the Decade took the stage at the Park Theater at Park MGM Friday for the first of a three-night run, which he called “a real special night for us.”
“We got a lot of people in the crowd who are family to us, so welcome everyone from Route 91,” reportedly told the crowd. “We came back to blow it out for you guys tonight. Let’s finish what we started, what y’all think!”
A memorable moment took place during Aldean’s performance of “Any Ol’ Barstool.” As the Georgia native belted out the lyrics, the audience lifted Route 91 survivor Kolter Beneitone, who was bound to a wheelchair several years before the mass shooting, into the air. As everyone sang along, Beneitone, who was sporting a Route 91 tribute tee-shirt, waived an American flag overhead. The emotinal moment truly touched Aldean and his wife Brittany.
“This might have been the coolest thing I have ever seen,” Aldean shared on Instagram along with a clip of the Beneitone crowd surfing. “Thank you Las Vegas and our Route 91 family for showing us the love this weekend.”
Brittany shared a series of photos of Beneitone on Instagram with the caption, “Route 91 family, we love you! 💜🧡 Last night was so special… and emotional. We’re with you, we cry with you and celebrate life with you!”
According to reports, Aldean closed his show with “When She Says Baby,” the song he was singing when the shooter began firing bullets into the crowd, leaving 58 people dead and 413 wounded. He reportedly told fans that there had been “a little interruption” during his performance in 2017 and that he wanted to take the time to finish it that night.
Jason Aldean’s Vegas run took place following the release of his sixth consecutive No.1 album, 9.