GUEST BLOG: #VegasStrong – by Jen

Barenaked Ladies fan and Las Vegas resident Jen shares her heartfelt thoughts about the recent tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest Festival – and remains #VegasStrong:

On 10/1/17 at approximately 10:05pm, an act of pure evil occurred on the Las Vegas strip. More than 22,000 music lovers were enjoying the Route 91 Harvest Festival and Jason Aldean had just finished singing “God Bless America” and was singing one of the last songs of the weekend-long country music festival.  Pure evil took away the joy those music fans were feeling, shoulder to shoulder, dancing and singing along with the show.  I won’t detail the rest because that is not why I wanted to write this.  What happened after that ten minutes of evil is what has demonstrated to the world exactly why we are #VegasStrong.

I was not at the concert, but have seen shows at that venue 3 or 4 times. It is an amazing place to see live music and the Route 91 Festival is a huge event there.  The weekend before, I Radio had a concert event there.  With the lights of the strip around it, it is really beautiful.  Out of state friends who know how much I love live music frantically texted Monday morning when news broke about what happened.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with my favorite band, the Barenaked Ladies?  They aren’t a country band and they weren’t playing that event.  In the past week, I have received so much love from the Barenaked Ladies community on Twitter that I wanted to write this.  

I have been listening to Barenaked Ladies since the mid-90’s.  I have seen them play at several outdoor events, including an amazing show at the Cosmopolitan pool in the middle of the strip and a fantastic show last year in Downtown Las Vegas.  I began a Twitter account partly to follow along on their tours and to keep up with news about the band’s goings on.  Over the past few years, I have become acquainted with other BNL fans because of Twitter, and I have received such kind messages from people I have never met in person over the incident on October 1st.  Other BNL fans have messaged to send support for not only me but my city.  When horrible things happen, the people of this country (and Canada) unite.  The Barenaked Ladies community unites.  We are HERE for each other!  I have been moved to tears several times the past couple of weeks because I have been reminded that we are ONE!

Sunday night, people helped each other to safety. They put complete strangers in their vehicles and drove injured people to the hospital and the uninjured to a safer place. First responders ran to the incident and helped those they could. Monday morning, people filled the blood banks and brought food and supplies to those hunkered down safely away from the scene.  Medical staff filled hospitals to help everyone they could.  Our commUNITY did what it does best–Unified to help those who needed it.  Our country and the world have shown support for this wonderful city I call home.  Thank you!

I did not know any of the 58 people who passed away, but my thoughts are with their families and friends.  I did know several people who were at the festival and several first responders who were called to action that night.  Even though there are more than 2 million people in this city, I haven’t met anyone who was not personally affected by this horrific act.   This city is big but it really is a small town. Thank you again to everyone who has supported us in this very difficult time! #VegasStrong


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