Sugarland returned to Indiana Friday night for a free concert at Indianapolis’ Conesco Fieldhouse. The emotionally-charged concert was a celebration of healing, life and music as well as a tribute to the victims of the stage collapse in August at the Indiana State Fair that killed seven.
When the show began, Jennifer Nettles revealed the duo had visited the fairgrounds and told the audience, which included some of those injured at the fair, that they were in for an emotional night. The concert took place 10 weeks after the stage collapse and honored all tickets held for the Indiana State Fair show.
“Obviously we are here in October — we were supposed to do this show in August,” Jennifer said according to the News-Sun. “Obviously, the stage is different, you are different and we are different. We are all changed by what happened then. But we are going to try to give you the best show that we can and to celebrate healing with you and to celebrate life and music with you here tonight.”
Sue Humphrey, whose 17-year-old son, Brad, was left partially paralyzed when he was hit by falling stage rigging at the fair, attended the concert with her son. Brad had just wrapped up his first week of school since his injuries. For Sue, a highlight was when Jennifer held up a flag with the word ‘heal’ written on it near the end of the concert and walked through the venue.
“She usually has ‘Love’ on that flag, but this time she spray-painted ‘Heal’ on it and I thought that was a very, very good touch to the show,” she said to the paper.
Corey Cox and actress Rita Wilson performed as special guests before Sugarland took the stage. Corey, an Indiana native, performed at a benefit concert a few weeks ago for a woman from his hometown, Andrea Vellinga, who suffered severe head injuries.
While the concert was free, Sugarland asked fans to donate to a victim relief fund that has already raised nearly $1 million.