Country duo Big & Rich are speaking out to “Extra” about the horrific shooting in Las Vegas last night.
Big Kenny and John Rich performed at the Route 91 Harvest festival less than two hours before shots rang out. The two played before Jake Owen and Jason Aldean, and recounted to “Extra” what happened.
John explained, “We played the show about 90 minutes before Jason Aldean (who was onstage when the shooting started). We had actually gone to a bar I own in Las Vegas to play a little after-show, and they tapped us on the shoulder and said there were active shooters at the 91 festival.”
“We thought there were multiple shooters at hotels,” he went on, saying they started to call friends and family. “I was able to get one guy on the phone, Dee Jay Silver… I couldn’t believe he answered the phone. Glad he did, he said, ‘They just threw me in the back of a pick up and we're racing down the road getting everyone out of here.’ Found out his son, 6-months-old son, and nanny were sleeping in the room next door to the shooter on the 32nd floor. You talk about horrifying, I do not know what compares to that.”
Big added, “Every room in that hotel practically had the most stellar views of the venue. We sat there in our room, right under the floor the shooter was in last night, and watched people come into the venue… Now, it’s just shock and just heartbroken.”
John said, “It was intense. Kenny stepped off the bus as a SWAT team was coming straight at him… Our band, people in my bar, they were trying to get people on the phone 'cause they just came from the show. There were people weeping, sobbing screaming.” Kenny said, “For blocks and blocks down the Strip there were people running scared.”
Giving props to the first responders, Kenny said, “They were on it quick.”
John said that while they have been able to check in with many people they “haven’t spoken to Jason [Aldean] yet.”
They said they always bring first responders and military members up onstage to sing “God Bless America” with the audience at their shows. John explained, “It is America and we do have the right to make music and live, but it is going to be interesting going forward, the changes that will probably happen, the security measures going into these tours. But you don’t stop what you are doing... You stop today and you grieve with everybody, you mourn with everybody, but you find some resolve there and say, 'I don’t think so, you’re not going to win like that.'”
Big Kenny insisted, “Fear will not overcome us — what we do is too beautiful.”