NBC
Angelica Florio
October 08, 2017 3:38 pm

A little inspiration is something that everyone could use right now. On this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, Jason Aldean opened the show by performing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” as a tribute to the Las Vegas shooting victims, and it was the perfect message of hope that the singer could share. The performance was absolutely beautiful, too.

This was Aldean’s first public appearance since he’d been performing in Las Vegas as the horrific mass shooting on October 1 that occurred during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Before he performed on last night’s show, Aldean gave a message to the concertgoers and their mourning families.

As the crowd cheered, Aldean began to sing Petty’s popular 1989 anthem, adding to the emotional impact of the performance since the legendary rockstar passed away on October 2nd — the day after the Las Vegas shooting.

It was really amazing to see Aldean standing up as a representative of all the people in pain. He even opened up about how he’s feeling after the traumatic event, saying, “Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night, and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal.”

It likely took a lot of courage for Aldean to get back on stage and to speak openly about his healing process. It’s really powerful to watch him do so.

Watch Jason Aldean’s chilling performance for yourself below.

“I Won’t Back Down” was the perfect choice of Petty’s songs to perform. It’s a song about staying strong in a time of adversity. It even includes the lyrics, “I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down, gonna stand my ground.”

Those lyrics are beautiful, especially at a time following a mass tragedy that killed at least 59 people and hurt hundreds more. It’s difficult to lose all hope at a time like this, but continuing to stand together and continue to work towards a more kind, peaceful world is more important than ever.

Aldean’s SNL performance was exactly the inspiration that everyone needs right now. His message of sticking together and supporting one another right now is hopefully one that everyone will take to heart.

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