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Jason Aldean Makes Defiant Return to the Stage After Las Vegas Shooting [Watch]

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Jason Aldean returned to the stage for his first concert since the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Thursday night (Oct. 12. ) with a defiant speech, and some of the survivors of that tragedy were there to cheer him on.

Aldean and his band took the stage at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., on Thursday night as part of the ongoing They Don’ Know Tour, marking their first live gig since a lone gunman opened fire during Aldean’s headlining set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. That 11-minute shooting spree killed at least 58 people and wounded nearly 500 others, but both Aldean and his fans displayed an indomitable spirit in his first show back since those events, with Aldean taking a few minutes to address the crowd.

“As you guys know, man, it’s been a tough week and a half for all of us up here onstage, and I want to say, thank you guys for being here tonight. You guys are gonna help us get through this,” he said.

He admitted he was unsure about how to play the first show back, since he wasn’t sure how fans would react.

“I want this not to be something that’s going to be a downer for the rest of the night,” Aldean tells the audience in the fan-shot video above, adding, “I want to play the show for you guys that the people in Las Vegas came to see and didn’t get a chance to.”

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A couple who made headlines with their bravery during the Las Vegas shooting were in attendance at the show. Ryan Guay and Lynzee Freund helped save a little girl’s life during the shooting, and as People reports, Tulsa radio station K95.5 gave them tickets to Aldean’s show on Thursday. “These two were saving lives in the Las Vegas shooting…. A week in a half later they’re in Tulsa finally getting to finish the Jason Aldean concert,” the radio station writes on Facebook.

According to Fox News, concertgoers in Tulsa walked through metal detectors, and police maintained a visible presence at the concert, which featured Aldean hits including “She’s Country,” “Big Green Tractor” and “Fly Over States.”

Aldean called on his fans to resist the urge to live in fear, rallying for more of the kind of unity he says he’s seen since the Las Vegas shooting.

“These people are gonna continue to try and hold us down and continue to try to do things to us that are gonna make us live in fear and be scared and not go out and do what it is we wanna do,” he said, adding, “F–k you. We don’t really care what you try to say, what you try to do to us.”

Aldean’s concert schedule shows the next date of his They Don’t Know Tour at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark., on Friday night (Oct. 13).

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