Outdoor concert helps survivors of Las Vegas shooting move on

Updated April 14, 2018 - 4:35 pm

He didn’t want to come back at first, not when the memories of that night remained as fresh as the wounds they inflicted.

A month after surviving the Route 91 Harvest tragedy, Dru Curley returned to Las Vegas at the urging of some friends.

He visited memorials and retraced his steps with one of the girls he was with that night.

“It was like a giant weight went off my shoulders,” the Minnesota native explained.

But that was just the first step in the healing process.

On Friday at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country’s Tailgating for a Cause festivities, he took another: Attending his first outdoor concert since the Route 91 music festival, where a mass shooting left 58 people dead and hundreds more injured on Oct. 1.

“I’m uncomfortable,” Curley said, clad in a Vegas Strong T-shirt, shades and a cowboy hat while seated at a table in the festival’s food area. “But I’m surrounded by family, pretty much.”

Curley was buffeted by an eager support system of about 1,000 on Friday, as the sunny skies above seeped into the spirits of the crowd below.

As strong winds blew clumps of hay across the Stoney’s parking lot where the event took place, concertgoers tossed bean bags into cornhole platforms decorated as American flags, line-danced on a massive, elevated wooden dance floor and eventually got tipsy enough to brave the mechanical bull that sat largely idle until early evening.

While more than a dozen acts performed on two stages, few artists addressed the Las Vegas shooting directly, preferring instead to let the music do the talking.

“If you’re going through hell / Keep on going, don’t slow down,” Rodney Atkins sang during his hit “If You’re Going Through Hell.” “If you’re scared, don’t show it.”

Those words were well-heeded on this afternoon.

“We can’t let people scare us away from what we love,” said Las Vegas resident Angie Boudreaux, whose purse was adorned with Vegas Strong items. “We’re not afraid.”

“There’s no fear,” added her friend and fellow Las Vegan Susan Thomanson.

This wasn’t lost on the talent on hand.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ for everyone coming out,” rising singer Mitchell Tenpenny said from the Country AF stage, alluding to the events of Oct. 1. “I have no words for that. I think everyone here understands what that is.

“Vegas Strong, baby,” he then added, raising a fist to display his Vegas Strong bracelet.

His words were tinged with defiance, a sentiment that Curley could relate to.

“Hate’s never going to win,” he said. “We’re a tight community.”

And with that, they partied on, together.

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like