I know this is a day late. To be honest, I didn't know if I was even going to write anything this week. Each Monday morning following the show I head to my office and I share some songs with you that have struck me that week. Songs that when you hear them, you just know they are special. But yesterday, it didn't feel right. As a broadcaster, a country music fan and as a person, I struggled yesterday. It was the first time in my career that I was having to cover an event of that magnatitude live on the air. I was trying to keep up with all the news that we were getting from TV & the internet, process it and be able to convey it in a way that kept you informed. I'll be the first to admit that it was not the best show I've ever done yesterday. More than once I felt myself struggling to find the words to describe what was happening in Vegas. I'm still struggling even as I'm writing this. All I kept thinking was "that could have been me or my friends".
Keith Urban said it best yesterday in Nashville, "It’s the one thing about country music. It is a community. I do know those people. It just hit me.” His words really struck a chord with me. All weekend I'd seen the posts from Las Vegas on artists social media feeds and thought "that looks like a hell of a good time. I need to make that trip!'. I'd envied those fans who were watching my favorite artists do what they do best. Then to wake up to the news that someone had attacked those very same fans, it shook me.
Like many of you, I've spent the hours since hearing the news trying to process it. Trying to make sense of how someone could do such a thing. Why they would do something like that. Once again I found myself turning to country music as I often do. There were words from Chase Rice last night that really get to the core of country music fans. Chase said "These are OUR fans. We are THEIR artists. God bless the thousands of lives affected by this terrible tragedy and may Jesus bring some sort of peace through it all. As Tom Petty said it best...we "won't back down" and he is right. We won't back down and watching Garth Brooks on Inside Studio G last night, he said it best (2:10) "the show must go on. It just does. When things go bad, doctors go to work. When things go bad, policemen go to work. When things go bad, music and musicians go to work". He continues "Things have gone bad. They need music. They need the power of that healing. So if you have a gig tonight, you have all my strength and all my love but the show must go on because those people in those seats, they come to get away from it all. They come to be happy, to be joyus, to sing and to love one another".
Garth is right. The show must go on. So in the coming days, we'll process it together. I'm always available to talk. You can call in whenever during the show. We'll get through this like the country music family that we are.
Which brings me to this weeks song. I heard it last night and as I said before I played it this morning, it was a song that I didn't know I needed until I heard it for the first time. Maren Morris & Vince Gill teamed up for "Dear Hate". It's a fantstic response to what we've seen in the world lately with an amazing message, love conquers all.
To the artists that are getting back up on the stage to provide our much needed escape, I say thank you. I'll be in the crowd for Garth on Saturday. The show. Must. Go. On.
Please keep the victims of the attack in Las Vegas in your prayers, even as the news coverage fades. They're going to need all the love they can get and #LovesGonnaConquerAll