Rascal Flatts open Las Vegas residency with tribute to Route 91 victims

Country music trio Rascal Flatts opened their new Las Vegas residency by remembering the fans who died at the Route 91 festival.

Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney took the stage at The Venetian on Friday night (06Oct17) and took a moment to honour the 59 country music fans shot and killed in Sin City on 1 October (17).

"There are no words that can adequately express the confusion, the frustration, the sadness, the pain and the anger that we all deal with when we’re faced with unspeakable evil such as the events that unfolded just a few nights ago in this city,” DeMarcus said.

Meanwhile, Rooney confessed he and his bandmates had considered postponing the start of their residency in the wake of the shooting incident, adding, "We quickly came to the conclusion that, no matter what, we’re not going to let evil win.

"We’re here tonight, and the rest of this residency, to make a statement."

Luke Bryan also had the Route 91 victims on his mind as he wrapped his 2017 Farm Tour on Saturday (07Oct17) in Missouri.

The singer paid tribute to the fans who lost their lives, telling the audience, "I want to remember those beautiful, those innocent, wonderful country music fans and those victims.

"I want to remember them and pray for their families. I want to salute the first responders in Las Vegas that night. From the policemen that ran in, to the people in the hospitals that were having a normal night and then their world got turned upside down."

Bryan's friend Jason Aldean, who was onstage when the gunfire rained down, paid tribute to the dead by performing Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down on this weekend's (07Oct17) Saturday Night Live.

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