On Friday night, September 29, Eric Church stood on a huge stage in Las Vegas, performing for Route 91 Harvest Festival goers. He traversed the crowd, shook hands with fans, and celebrated his music with the last group of country music lovers he was scheduled to stand in front of for the year. Exactly forty-eight hours later, the same places he stood were filled with chaos, as a shooter stood in a window on the thirty-second floor of Mandalay Bay and opened fire on those who simply came to the Las Vegas strip to have a good time.
Last night, Church played the Grand Ole Opry. He admitted to the audience that he didn’t want to be there. He didn’t want to play his guitar. But a video was sent to Church that made him get up, get dressed, grab his guitar, and play the legendary venue, even though it pained him to perform in the wake of such tragedy.
Church explained that somebody sent him a video of Heather Melton, wife of Sonny Melton, an East Tennessee nurse who was killed in the shooting. She shared that they traveled all the way to Las Vegas to see Church because he was Melton’s favorite artist. In fact, as his wife, whose life he saved by covering her as bullets rained over the strip, spoke with Anderson Cooper on CNN, she donned a Church Choir shirt in honor of her husband and his favorite singer.
As he stood on the stage, Church went on to explain that the Meltons had tickets for the Opry that night just to see him sing. The seats in Row F remained empty, but that didn’t stop Church from dedicating a brand new song he wrote in the aftermath of the shooting to his fan who fell victim in the senseless act.
Watch as Eric Church discusses the Las Vegas incident, as well as sings his new song begging the question “why you and why not me?”