Watch Big & Rich Lead ‘God Bless America’ Singalong at Route 91 Harvest Festival
Big & Rich took the stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival just hours before the mass shooting that made headlines all over the world, and they led the crowd of country fans in a patriotic singalong of “God Bless America.”
The country duo were part of the bill on Sunday (Oct. 1) on the third and final day of the festival, taking the stage just hours before the headlining set from Jason Aldean during which a gunman began to fire into the crowd from his room on the 32nd floor of an adjacent hotel, killing at least 58 people and wounding nearly 500 more in the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
Click on the video above to watch them lead the audience of 22,000 patriotic country music fans in a group singalong lit up by a sea of cell phones, a lasting tribute to the spirit of that audience despite the tragedy that would occur later that night.
“This is a POWERFUL moment of American unity,” the duo write to accompany the video on Instagram. “No politics, religion, race…Just AMERICANS. It’s time to unify. We love the fans and are heartbroken #prayforvegas.”
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The duo, whose guiding motto has always been “Love Everybody,” also shared their thoughts in another long post after the attack, calling the mass shooting ““Unreal, tragic and sad beyond belief.”
“God Bless all the courageous men and women who helped save lives in the midst of tragedy. God be with all the wounded and the many families who have lost loved ones,” they write. “Our hearts are broken. We weep with you. Sending great love to all the country music fans who endured. We must all continue to be the light that pushes back against this raging darkness with the unstoppable love of God. Amen.”
Eric Church also paid tribute to the indomitable spirit of the crowd at the Route 9 Harvest Festival when he returned to the stage on Wednesday night (Oct. 4) for the first time since the Las Vegas shooting. He recounted the joy of his performance on the first night of the festival, choking back tears as he said, “48 hours later, those places that I stood, was carnage. And those were my people. My fans.”
Church went on to perform a new song that he wrote in remembrance of those who died in the Las Vegas shooting, adding, ““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.”
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