It’s been almost a year since the Route 91 Harvest Festival tragedy, and Jason Aldean, who was performing when the gunfire broke out, returned to the Las Vegas stage this weekend for the iHeartRadio Festival, his first full performance in Vegas since the tragedy occurred. As you can imagine, the devastating event was on his mind.
“Being back in Vegas this close to the anniversary of it is, at times, a little weird," Jason told reporters backstage. "In another sense, it's nice to be back. This is really our first performance we've had here since then. Tonight is going to be another step in getting through all that stuff."
Before his set, Jason and Bobby Bones helped celebrate local police officers, firefighters and EMTs, bringing about 40 of them to the stage to an eruption of applause, and chants of “USA.” “On behalf of myself, my family and my family in the country music community, I want to say thank you to the city of Las Vegas for your courage, strength and kindness," Jason shared. "Tonight, we are all proud to be Vegas Strong."
Meanwhile, with a nine-month-old son, and another baby on the way, touring has changed quite a bit for Jason, especially when it comes to his tour bus. “It’s got two cribs in the bus, which I never in the early days of my touring career thought I’d ever do that, but it’s different,” he told reporters before the iHeartMusic Festival in Las Vegas. “It’s a lot different now than it was the early part of my career. Things are settled down.” He added, “I got playpens sitting outside my bus on college football. I’m watching college football and [Memphis] is in the playpen. That was never a thing early on, so it’s cool.”