By Annie Reuter
Keith Urban, Vince Gill and Nashville‘s Charles Esten were on hand in Nashville Monday night (October 2) to take part in a vigil in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting at Route 91 Harvest festival that left 59 dead and over 500 wounded.
At the start of the vigil, Esten likened the country community to that of a family.
“Country music, they call it an industry,” he said. “They call it a community sometimes and it is. But what it really turns out to be is a family. We’re all a part of that family and Nashville is that family’s home.”
He added, “Music can bring healing and that is why we’re here tonight. For the first smallest steps at bringing some light to this darkness.”
Urban, Gill, Amy Grant and Alison Krauss also took the stage at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater for an evening of music and prayer.
“I’m honored to be here as a voice for the innocent. May we never lose our voice for innocent people,” Billboard reports Gill said before playing “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”
He’d later welcome Grant to the stage who led the audience in a moment of silence and prayer.
Urban took the stage to perform a poignant cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and shared his difficulty in making sense of the shooting.
“I started this morning by finding out about it and being shell-shocked all morning, getting my kids ready for school,” he confessed. “My 9-year-old, as I was driving her to school this morning, said to me, ‘Dad, you seem quiet.’ I said, ‘Yeah, a lot of people [were] killed last night.’ She said, ‘Did you know any of them?’ and I said, ‘Not that I know of.’ Then she said, ‘Then why are you so sad?’ I said, ‘First of all, these were innocent people horrifically taken, and secondly, they’re like family.’ It’s the one thing about country music that’s always been the center of it — it is community. So I did know those people, in that way.”
Watch the Nashville vigil for Las Vegas below.