Jason Aldean delivered a defiant message onstage as he resumed his tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday night following the mass shooting during his set at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
Three songs into his show at the BOK Center, Jason stopped the concert to deliver a five-minute speech about the 1 October tragedy to those in the audience. Telling the crowd that they shouldn’t live in fear, Jason explained: “These people are going to continue to try to hold us down and continue to try and do things to us that are going to make us live in fear and be scared and not go out and do what it is we want to do – whether it’s going to a concert, a ballgame, the mall or a movie. And to those people that keep trying to do that, I say f**k you, we don’t really care.”
As fans cheered in agreement, pumped their fists and held up American flags, Jason continued: “I want this not to be something that’s going to be a downer for the rest of the night. I want to play the show for you guys that the people in Las Vegas came to see and didn’t get a chance to.”
Among the fans in the audience were friends Audra Miller, Lee Holstein and Amanda Zmak, who were present during Jason’s Vegas set when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowds, killing 58 people and injuring over 500 more.
The trio traveled from Dallas, Texas, to Tulsa for the show, and wore T-shirts decorated with the meme “Vegas Strong”.
Following the Tulsa show, Audra told CBS News that the evening was a triumph, explaining: “It was therapeutic and kind of like a cleansing all at the same time. We just wanted to represent family, friends, love and hope.”
After his speech about the Vegas tragedy, Jason continued to deliver an energetic concert, performing some of his biggest hits including Big Green Tractor, Fly Over States and She’s Country, before belting out tracks from his most recent album They Don’t Know.