With the country music world still reeling from the mass shooting that took place Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Garth Brooks took to Facebook Live Monday evening to offer his encouragement and a few words of his wisdom. His message: “The show must go on.”
With a TV screen behind him reading “Pray for Las Vegas,” the Country Music Hall of Fame member expressed his admiration and gratitude to those who had taken action when the shooting – the deadliest mass killing in United States history, claiming the lives of 58 people and injuring hundreds more – took place. Brooks even shared a line from his favorite movie, the 1984 John Carpenter film Starman, which says, “When things are at your worst, you are at your best.”
While Brooks doesn’t have a show of his own until Thursday, he took the opportunity to reflect on the nature of public performance and how he and his fellow musicians can be at their best in the face of such tragedy. In this particular instance, fans had been out enjoying the final day of a three-day festival along the Las Vegas Strip when the shooter opened fire.
“When things go bad, doctors go to work. When thing go bad, policemen go to work. When things go bad, music and musicians go to work,” Brooks said in the video, drawing a further parallel with the tradition of musician-run fundraisers and telethons. “Those people in those seats, they come to get away from it all, to be happy, to be joyous, to sing, and to love one another. That’s what it’s all about. So, you got a gig tonight? The music starts tonight. Start it again, start spreading the love. Start creating the greatest power music holds, and that’s the power to heal.”
Brooks then got the ball rolling by performing a short rendition of his 2005 song “The Change.” His Thursday night concert kicks off a run of five shows in four nights at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.