Coun­try star Ja­son Aldean re­sumes tour

Manteca Bulletin - - Local -

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Coun­try star Ja­son Aldean brought the party back Thurs­day in his re­turn to the stage fol­low­ing the deadly mass shoot­ing that broke out while he was per­form­ing in Las Ve­gas, but the fun was tem­pered by the sting of the tragedy.

Three songs into his show in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa, the singer launched into a five-minute speech that hon­ored the 58 killed and nearly 500 hurt in the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. his­tory. But Aldean took a de­fi­ant tone in telling con­cert­go­ers to re­sist liv­ing in fear, and he called for more of the na­tional unity he’s seen since the at­tack.

“Th­ese peo­ple are go­ing to con­tinue to try to hold us down,” Aldean said. “To those peo­ple that keep try­ing to do that, I say (ex­ple­tive) you, we don’t re­ally care.”

Fans agreed. They pumped their fists and held up Amer­i­can flags as Aldean con­tin­ued.

“I want to play the show for you guys that the peo­ple in Las Ve­gas came to see and didn’t get a chance to,” he said.

Friends Au­dra Miller, Lee Hol­stein and Amanda Zmak were some of those fans. They were in the au­di­ence when the shoot­ing hap­pened and ran for cover like thou- sands of oth­ers.

They trav­eled from Dal­las for the Tulsa show and wore T-shirts they dec­o­rated them­selves that said “Ve­gas Strong,” a pop­u­lar meme since the at­tack.

Miller, 34, said Aldean made them proud and viewed the evening as a tri­umph.

“It was ther­a­peu­tic and kind of like a cleans­ing all at the same time,” she said. “We just wanted to rep­re­sent fam­ily, friends, love and hope.”

Aldean gave fans the show they wanted. The Ge­or­gia na­tive is one of coun­try mu­sic’s big­gest stars, tour­ing in sup­port of his al­bum “They Don’t Know,” which de­buted atop the Bill­board 200 in 2016. Much of his cat­a­log in­cludes South­ern rock, pop and hip-hop in­flu­ences, a mix of hard-charg­ing party an­thems and bal­lads with lyrics about farm work, drink­ing and small-town life.

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