Singer Luke Combs offered a solemn tribute to victims of the Las Vegas shooting on Monday night, performing his song “Used to You” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The song, originally recorded for Combs’ 2016 EP This One’s for You, deals with the loss of a loved one and the physical reminders of the absence. “I’m getting used to the radio playing without you singing along, but I’ll never get used to you being gone,” he sings.
Just hours before, Combs had been right in the middle of the violence, which claimed the lives of 59 people and injured more than 500 others gathered for Jason Aldean’s headlining set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival opposite the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
In an interview with NBC’s Today, Combs described having finished his set at the opposite end of the festival grounds before joining Jake Owen to watch Aldean perform.
“We were actually onstage when it happened, standing there with my manager,” he says via phone.
Combs explains that the first few shots didn’t register as gunfire, and that he initially mistook the noise for a pyrotechnics malfunction. But as the shooter cleared out a window from his hotel room, the sound of the weapon changed and it dawned on him that they were in extreme danger. He was somehow collected enough to head back past the stage and out to the safety of his bus, locating his band and crew within a few minutes.
“It’s obviously disturbing to know that he was up there waiting for his opportunity,” says Combs. “But at the same time I don’t want to be scared or put any shows of mine on hold because I feel like that’s what this person wanted to happen. I feel like he wanted everybody to be scared and be afraid.”
— Janelle Rodriguez (@janelleNBC) October 2, 2017