On Oct. 4, Eric Church returned to the stage for the first time after the Las Vegas Route 91 Music Festival shooting. The country music singer appeared at the Grand Ole Opry. It was an emotional performance.
During the performance, Church tearfully paid tribute to the victims with a brand-new song. Before performing the song, he had a lot to say about the tragedy and how he feels about the victims. Church started out by talking about his performance in Las Vegas. He talked about jumping down into the crowd and shaking hands with fans that lined either side of him.
“48 hours later, those places that I stood, was carnage,” Church recalls, pausing to choke back tears. “And those were my people. My fans.”
Church went on to talk about one of those in attendance. Sonny Melton, one of the first named victims, just happened to be a huge Eric Church fan. His wife later said how the two had attended the festival to see Church and also had tickets for his Oct. 4 performance at the Grand Ole Opry. Church referred to their empty seats during his speech.
Church later said that his fans, especially the Meltons, were the reason he was performing.
“The reason I’m here, the reason I’m here tonight is because of Heather Melton, her husband Sonny who died, and every person that was there,” Church says, pointing out their empty seats. “Let me tell you something; I saw that crowd, and I saw them with their hands in the air, I saw them with boots in the air, and what I saw in that moment in time was frozen. There’s no amount of bullets that could take that away.
While Church was not at the Music Festival during the shooting, he did perform as the headliner on Friday. Naturally, the entire country music industry and the rest of the world are mourning the tragic occurrence that took place in Las Vegas.
Currently, we still know little about the motive behind Steven Paddock’s decision to shoot into the crowd of concert-goers. At this point, more than 500 people were injured, and 58 were killed. Police are still combing through Paddock’s life to determine what might have prompted his actions.