There hasn’t been much to cheer about on Saturday Night Live in recent years, but this past weekend’s cold open was worth watching.
Last Sunday night country music star Jason Aldean, was standing on a stage in Las Vegas preparing to bring an end to his show when Stephen Paddock began opening fire on the crowd of country music fans. When it was all over Paddock had killed more than 50 people and caused some 500 other people to be wounded. It was horrific and the disaster led to many Americans missing the news that a rock n’ roll legend also passed away earlier this week. Tom Petty was the voice of a generation, his music was the soundtrack of American lives from the late 1970’s through the mid 90’s.
Saturday Night Live chose to honor both the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and one of the most important music icons of the last half century in the same breath, they did this by inviting Jason Aldean to come and sing one of Tom Petty’s most iconic songs, “I Won’t Back Down.”
Aldean opened the show by saying:
This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal.
So many people are hurting, and they’re our children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. they’re all part of our family. So I want to say to them: We hurt for you and we hurt with you.
You can be sure we’re going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit — it’s unbreakable.
It’s a message we can all support. Aldean and his band then played their rendition of Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.”
This was an excellent cold open SNL.