Jason Aldean Predicts Emotionally-Charged Return to Las Vegas

Superstar looks ahead to his first Vegas shows since 2017's Route 91 Harvest Festival tragedy.

Written by Chris Parton
Jason Aldean Predicts Emotionally-Charged Return to Las Vegas
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 22: Jason Aldean performs during the 2019 Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Concert at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on October 22, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Jason Aldean is only weeks away from his first shows in Las Vegas since he was onstage during the deadly Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in 2017, and heading into his three night residency Park MGM’s Park Theater, the country superstar still expects to feel some tension in the air.

“It’s gonna be a little weird,” Aldean admitted during a Nashville press conference tied to his upcoming 9 album on Wednesday (October 23). He and his whole team are excited for the shows, Aldean says, but he’s purposely waited to book his Las Vegas return, not wanting to rush anyone’s healing process.

“That was a thing for us where it’s just been a touchy subject,” Aldean explained. “I know there was a lot of people wanting us to come back and play, like, right after that all happened, but it just kinda didn’t feel right to us at the time. We always wanted to go back and do that when we felt like the timing was right.”

That time has finally come for Aldean and his fans, plus the thousands who were affected by one of the worst mass shooting events in U.S. history. So what finally tipped the scales? Aldean says it was a combination of two things: Being able to deliver three shows in a row, and the fact the Park Theater is much smaller than the arenas he normally plays.

“That’s the thing,” the “We Back” singer went on. “There’s gonna be a lot of people at that show that were at Route 91, and some of those people may not have been to a show since then. So the smaller the venue, I feel like … maybe it makes them a little more at ease. It’s a little more intimate. To me, it just felt like the right setting, the right time to go back and do that.”

Aldean and his team have been back to Las Vegas since the tragedy — especially to visit with Route 91 victims — but he said it’s always a surreal experience. His Vegas residency will be another step forward for everyone involved.

“I just think it’s gonna be a little odd for us every time we go there,” he said. “And I’m not saying we’re not looking forward to it, because I really am. I’m looking forward to going out there and doing those shows, but theres always gonna be a little different vibe, I think, around any show we ever play out there – and really on the West Coast, to be honest.

“We went and did a run in California last year, and had a ton of Route 91 survivors there, and it was almost a run of shows where we didn’t know what to expect,” Aldean continued. “It was like ‘Man, is this gonna be really somber, or this weird kind of mood for the show?’ And it ended up being some of the best shows we had that whole year. It completely took me by surprise … and I kind of expect it to be the same with Las Vegas. So I think it’s gonna be a blast. I think it’s gonna probably be an emotional thing for a lot of people, a lot of fans, probably a little bit for us, too, being back out there. But I’m excited we’re going and I think it will be good for everybody.”

Jason Aldean’s Ride All Night Vegas residency at Park MGM’s Park Theater runs from December 6-8, and tickets are on sale now. His ninth studio album, 9, arrives on November 22.