Music in Mandalay Bay: Remembering Las Vegas

Music motivates – pairing perfectly with a workout. Music inspires – providing focus and direction for studies and projects. Music comforts – connecting souls by lyrics and notes; a reminder that no one is quite alone. Music travels – dancing out of earphones and speakers into one’s consciousness. Music is an escape – affording a vacation from real life problems. One of the best musical escapes is a concert or a festival. What was your first concert? It is not easily forgotten. No matter one’s preference, there is a genre that will fit. Most everyone has a song that transports them to a specific time in their life. This same song envelops the listener in sights, sounds and smells of memories long ago at the sound of the first note. It’s almost as if they are there again. Music connects – no matter race, religion or creed. The beauty of music and its power lends to the complete devastation that has taken over the music world over the past week and a half. It has been a difficult task finding the right words to discuss this tragedy. While most won’t forget their first concert, many won’t forget the Harvest Music Festival, because for some it will always be their last.

On October 1st, a 64 year old male unleashed a maelstrom of bullets onto unsuspecting concert goers on the Las Vegas Strip at the Harvest Music Festival. This mass shooting has become known as the deadliest shooting in America. 58 people were killed. 58 sets of parents lost their children. Over 400 people were injured. Approximately 22,000 individuals were in attendance at the festival. About 22,000 people left their homes to spend time with their favorite artists and friends and 58 people will never return home again. All of the attendees’ lives have been forever changed. A song by Jason Aldean, who was playing at the time the shooting began, will never feel the same to those in attendance. The names of the victims are far more important than that of the shooter’s. Those 58 that did not escape that day will not be forgotten. They are as follows:

Adrian Murfitt

Andrea Castilla

Angela Gomez

Austin Cooper Meyer

Austin Davis

Bailey Schweitzer

Bill Wolfe, Jr.

Brennan Stewart

Brett Schwanbeck

Brian Fraser

Calla Medig

Cameron Robinson

Candice Bowers

Carly Kreibaum

Carrie Barnette

Carrie Parsons

Charleston Hartfield

Chris Hazencomb

Christiana Duarte

Christopher Roybal

Dana Gardner

Denise Burditus

Denise Cohen

Dorene Anderson

Erick Silva

Hannah Ahlers

Heather Alvarado

Jack Beaton

Jennier Topaz Irvine

Jenny Parks

Jessica Klymchuk

John Phippen

Jordan McIldon

Jordyn Rivera

Kelsey Brianne Meadows

Keri Lynn Galvan

Kurt Von Tillow

Laura Shipp

Lisa Patterson

Lisa Romero

Lt. Derrick “Bo” Taylor

Melissa Ramirez

Michelle Vo

Neysa Tonks

Nicol Kimura

Patricia Mestas

Quinton Robbins

Rachael Parker

Rhonda LeRocque

Rocio Guillen

Sandy Casey

Sonny Melton

Stacee Etcheber

Steve Berger

Susan Smith

Tara Roe Smith

Thomas Day, Jr.

Victor Link

The shots that rained down that fateful day have echoed through America. It has shaken some people to the point of questioning whether or not they are safe at these large festivals. Artists and fans have come together to remember those who have lost their lives. A retired carpenter crafted 58 crosses and traveled from Illinois to Nevada to erect them in memory of the victims. Jason Aldean responds to the tragedy with his cover of Tom Petty’s Won’t Back Down.

There are those that declare that this tragedy should not be turned into a political agenda, but simply accepted for what it is. There are others that feel that simply accepting it, is accepting these events as a part of our reality. What do you think? Regardless of where one stands, perhaps one should heed the advice of the late and great Tom Petty when he writes, “I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down; Gonna stand my ground. And I won’t back down.” The same music that drew everyone to Las Vegas, is the same music that will help push everyone through.

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