Singer-songwriter, Brent Cobb, was like most of the world’s other millions of stunned people upon hearing of the Manchester attack, hardly able to take in the senseless terror. This Georgia native had a unique and tenuous honor, however. He was set to play a Manchester gig the day after the devastating act of horror. The scheduled show wasn't just any show, either. It was a special show for a special audience at the Manchester Deaf Institute. The man who touches so many hearts with his message and sweet tone on “Shine on Rainy Day” made sure that his heart was clear to those daring to calmly carry on and hear the music play on—life will go on.

Perfect man for the mission

In a sense, no musician could have been better suited to play this kind of “day after” performance than Brent Cobb. Much of his country, alternative country, Americana catalog is built on songs that celebrate the trials and the virtue of rural life. There is a constant need in the country for rebuilding from the ground. There are please for the rain, and then the rain washes life away. Brent Cobb knows what it is to rise up after being crushed. He is known for another song, “Solving Problems,” and he weighed his words carefully in his Facebook post. He balanced not wanting to push too hard on the many still hurting, yet at the same time, letting all his waiting following know that healing would be mutual through the music.

“While we do not want to be insensitive to your tragedy, we also refuse to let terrorism win,” Cobb asserted.

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He continued, expressing that he and his band shared the pain as “our hearts break for your loss” and that a focal point of his presence for the show would be to “be there with you tonight to mourn and help heal.”

Oddly enough, Brent Cobb and his band had just finished their late supper at a spot named Texas Joe’s in London when they were shaken by the news. The artist had to balance his feelings of not wanting anyone to feel forced to come out of a sense of obligation because “the guy from the States” came, not wanting anyone to feel endangered, and still standing firm in the commitment to play with purpose in the face of the violence.

Brent Cobb was greeted by kids just out of school at the venue, just as though nothing had ever happened. The crowd that evening was “smaller than we would've had,” according to the songwriter himself, but he sensed a “united we stand” aura right from the start. “After about the first three or four songs, we were all loosened up. It turned into a celebration,” exuded Cobb.

A perfect night cap

Numerous fans joined Brent Cobb and his guitarist out on a patio after the performance. They just “hung out and smoked cigarettes” and had time to talk, about the night, about the day before, “just like hanging out with your friends and family,” Cobb reflected.

The next night, there was a bigger show in London, but the resolve and unity from Manchester stretched across the miles. There will be other shows in Manchester, including a special benefit pledged by Ariana Grande. Brent Cobb captioned his Manchester memory with “Manchester, we did it. Together.” The city will rise, inspire, and keep doing it together.