LAS VEGAS — Imagine Dragons and The Killers will pay tribute to the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history when they headline a concert Friday in Las Vegas, the city that saw them rise to stardom.
The concert that will benefit the victims of the shooting will also include appearances at T-Mobile Arena by the trio Boyz II Men, magician David Copperfield, magic duo Penn and Teller and Cirque du Soleil performers, all of whom have had regularly scheduled shows for years in Las Vegas.
For Image Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, the concert is about helping his hometown recover from the tragedy. With world-famous casinos, nightly shows and more, visitors not always venture away from Las Vegas Boulevard, but Reynold said, there is “a real thick community and culture here of people.”
“This concert is representative of a community that is coming together to heal, that is going to continue to go out to concerts and shows and not let one individual and his reckless and just senseless behaviour stop people gathering and enjoying life and entertainment,” Reynolds, who resides in Las Vegas, told The Associated Press this week. “This is the city of entertainment.”
A high-stakes gambler killed 58 people and injured hundreds more on Oct. 1 after he shattered windows of his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino and unleashed withering gunfire at the Route 91 Harvest music festival below before killing himself.
Imagine Dragons band members learned about the shooting after wrapping up a show in Los Angeles. Reynolds said one of his best friends was bartending at the music festival and escaped uninjured, but was “devastated” after witnessing people around him getting shot.
“It hits really close to home in a lot of ways,” Reynolds said.
Jay Leno and Washington Nationals outfielder and Las Vegas native Bryce Harper will join the performers Friday.
In a sign of solidarity, the two largest casino operators MGM Resorts International — which owns Mandalay Bay, T-Mobile Arena and the venue where the shooting took place — and Caesars Entertainment have put aside their fierce competition for patrons and are presenting the benefit concert together.
Concert tickets, which range in price from $75 – $125, are still available. Proceeds from the concert will go to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund, which has collected about $11.5 million since it was created shortly after the shooting. Under a proposed plan, the money would be distributed to relatives of the people killed and to those who were hospitalized.
“For us, Las Vegas is a vital part of who we are as a band and who we are as human beings,” The Killers, which was formed in Las Vegas, in a statement. “Please join us as we do what we do best in honour of those who lost their lives and celebrate the heart and humanity that keeps us united.”