Miranda Lambert Gives Emotional First Concert Since Route 91 Attack
A bittersweet moment during Miranda Lambert's first show after the shooting in Las Vegas came when a young Edmonton-area boy joined her on stage asking not for an autograph or to sing along, but for a hug.
"We all need a damn hug today, don't we?" Lambert said with a smile after obliging Luke's request. Tuesday night (Oct. 3) wasn't just Lambert's first show post-attack, it was country music's first major concert since Route 91.
"If a person told you it wasn’t in the back of their head last night they’d be lying to you," says Chris Scheetz, morning show host at CISN Country 103.9 in Edmonton, Alb. He was at Tuesday night's show and talked to Taste of Country on Wednesday morning.
Lambert's scheduled concert came 48 hours after a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, killing 59 and injuring over 500. Prior to the show she proclaimed music as medicine, and those in attendance describe her set as particularly emotional. The crowd always helps her through "Over You," but on this night it was an even more tear-stained performance.
Scheetz says Lambert started strong, but once she got to the first verse, it was over. "That was it for her, that was it for me, that was it for my wife, that was it for the other thousands of people in the crowd," he says.
"They were ugly crying, too. We were all just kind of doing it together. It was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had in my over 28 years of working in radio and being in concerts."
Prior to "Tin Man" Lambert acknowledged the events of October 1. "I think part of what we do is try to make people feel all the feelings, because that's what music is. It's medicine right?" she said. "Can you hold up a light for our friends in Vegas tonight?"
Of course, the packed crowd at the Northlands Coliseum obliged:
Weekend stops across Canada will all but bring a wrap to Lambert's 2017 touring schedule (an Oct. 21 show in Florida remains), and she's sure to pay tribute to the Las Vegas victims at each. Several of the lives lost were from Canada. In fact, on Wednesday morning Scheetz learned that an Edmonton woman was among those killed. After Saturday night's terror attack in the city and the shootings in Las Vegas, his is a city in need of a hug. Just like Luke was.
“I wasn’t in Las Vegas, but it kind of feels like we all were,” he tells Taste of Country.
On Thursday, many other singers will resume their tours, including Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Garth Brooks. Earlier this week Brooks commented on the importance of artists returning to the stage as quickly as possible. A shared sentiment that music can heal was a large part of Lambert's show on Tuesday night, as well. Video screens read "Music Is Medicine" prior to the show, and several people on Twitter noted that she played Tom Petty music for fans prior to her set.
The Faces and Stories of the Route 91 Victims