Country star Jason Aldean has recalled feeling "aggravated" during his headlining set at the Route 91 Harvest festival after initially mistaking the sound of gunfire for engineering issues.

The singer was onstage in Las Vegas on 1 October (17) when shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire on the audience at the outdoor event, costing 58 people their lives.

Aldean has recalled the nightmare in his first TV interview since the tragedy, confessing to U.S. breakfast show Today he had no idea the loud pops he had heard were gunshots.

"We wear in-ear monitors when we're on stage," he said in preview footage of the chat. "And really all you can hear is the music and, you know, maybe your guys that can talk to you on microphones that are on side-stage or whatever.

"So when it first happened, I thought a speaker had blown. It just sounded like a crackling something. And so, I'm kind of looking around like, 'What is that?' (and) trying to figure out what it is. And then it stopped, so I was like, they must have got it fixed, so I kept doing my thing."

When the noise rang out again, he grew frustrated with his sound engineers, before learning he - and all of the attendees - were actually under attack.

"It lasted longer the second time," Jason remembered. "I was actually getting kind of aggravated, so I looked over at the monitor guy on the side of the stage, and I was like, 'What is that? And fix it!' And when I turned and looked, my guitar player had run behind me and was telling me to move, like, 'Let's go.' And my security guy was running on stage, telling me to run."

The full interview is set to air on Tuesday (14Nov17).

Aldean, whose pregnant wife Brittany was with him at the festival, took to social media in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, admitting the shooting had been "beyond horrific", and asking fans to pray for Vegas.

He has since paid tribute to the victims and survivors of the tragedy in a series of performances, most recently on Sunday (12Nov17) at the star-studded Country Rising benefit gig in Nashville, Tennessee.

Reflecting on the ill-fated festival, he told the crowd: "I know I don't have to tell you guys this, but it's been a rough couple of months for us up here and it's a lot of fun to get back out and play for the people that matter, which is you guys.

"I spent a lot of time and a long time trying to make it in this business and doing something that I really enjoy. I'll be damned if anybody is ever going to stop me from doing that."

Country Rising also featured sets from Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, and Lady Antebellum, among others, although Carrie Underwood was forced to pull out from the show after breaking her wrist in a fall at home.

LATEST NEWS