The tragedy that happened in Las Vegas has sent ripples through the country music community, touching fans and artists alike. On Friday night, Eric Church headlined the Route 91 Harvest Festival, just 48 hours before the shooting that claimed 58 lives and left over 500 injured. The festival was Church’s last big show of 2017 and he tearfully recalled the energetic crowd, “And 48 hours later, those places that I stood, was carnage. And those were my people. My fans.”
He goes on to admit that he was hesitant about playing the Opry. “I didn’t want to play guitar. I didn’t want to walk on stage,” He admits. However, Church saw an interview with Tennessee native Heather Melton, whose husband Sonny died in the attacks. Melton wore a Church Choir shirt while being interviewed, admitting they’d gone to the festival to see Church, who was her husband’s favorite. The couple also had tickets to the Opry for Wednesday night to see Church, and it was for them, that Church opted to play last night.
“Over here in Section 3, row F, there are some empty seats. Those are their seats,” Church says of the couple. “That night, something broke in me, on Sunday night, when that happened, and the only way I’ve ever fixed anything that’s been broke in me is with music,” Church says. “So I wrote a song.”
He then went on to play “Why Not Me,” a song he wrote for Sonny Melton and the Route 91 Harvest Festival victims.
Watch Eric Church’s heartfelt speech and dedication here: