Josh Abbott Band has decided to forego their upcoming weekend performances in order to allow the band and crew to begin to heal mentally and physically after the massacre in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. In a statement issued on the band’s social media pages, the Texas-based band regrets any inconvenience caused to fans, but know they are making the right decision for both the sake of their health and out of respect for the victims.
“Out of respect for the victims and their families of the Las Vegas shooting, as well as the overall health of our band & crew, we have decided to cancel our shows this weekend in College Station and Waco. This week has been emotional as we try to process what happened. It would be disingenuous for us to pretend like this is a normal week of shows. It wouldn’t be fair to you the fans or to ourselves,” reads the statement in part.
The band will return to the stage in Houston on Oct. 14 after canceling Friday’s (Oct. 6) show at Wolf Pen Creek in College Station and Saturday’s (Oct. 7) show at the Heart O’ Texas Fair in Waco.
While some of the band had returned to their Vegas hotel on Sunday night, several crew members remained at the festival grounds and were thankfully uninjured.
“The band & crew were on the concert grounds and saw people get shot. Some of my crew members were hit with shrapnel, but not injured,” Abbott wrote. “We are deeply disturbed by this horrific act of violence and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. It was a long awful night but we are blessed to be alive and healthy. Hug your loved ones tight.”
The incident also prompted the band’s guitarist, Caleb Keeter, to speak out on his thoughts of the second amendment. Previously a supporter of the right to bear arms, Keeter changed his stance after 58 innocent people lost their lives and hundreds of others were injured.
“We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac,” he wrote in a lengthy note posted to Twitter.
Josh Abbott Band is not the only country act to postpone shows after the shooting. Jason Aldean, who was onstage at the time the shooting began, also canceled his three weekend dates in California, but plans to return to the stage on Oct. 12 in Tulsa, OK.