"When it first happened, I thought a speaker had blown."

By Annie Reuter

Jason Aldean was on stage performing on October 1 at Route 91 Harvest in Las Vegas when a man opened fire, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. In an interview with Today, which aired on Tuesday morning (Nov. 14), the singer recalled the confusion he and his band felt as the bullets started to fly.

Related: Country Rising Benefit Brings Evening of Healing to Nashville

“We wear in-ear monitors when we’re onstage. And really, all you can hear is the music and maybe your guys that can talk to you on microphones that are on side-stage,” Aldean explained. “So when it first happened, I thought a speaker had blown, is what I thought. It just sounded like a crackling something. And so, I’m kind of looking around like, ‘What is that?’, trying to figure out what it is. Then it stopped, so I was like, ‘They must have got it fixed,’ and so I kept doing my thing.”

Moments later, he heard the sound again and Aldean said he was aggravated that the problem wasn’t fixed. Then he realized something was very wrong.

“When I turned and looked, my guitar player had run behind me and was telling me to move, like, ‘Let’s go,'” Aldean said. “My security guy was running onstage, telling me to run.”

In an interview before the Country Rising benefit concert in Nashville on Sunday (Nov. 12) — which raised over $4 million for hurricane relief and the victims of Las Vegas — Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley discussed the need to move on and not live in fear.

“Honestly, being back onstage probably helped us more than anything,” Aldean says. “I feel like, at the end of the day, there’s so much focus on politics and race and all these other things. We’re all in this together. We spend so much time arguing with each other and not enough time working on the issue. That’s really the problem.”

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