VIDEO: Jason Aldean Tributes Las Vegas Victims AND Covers Tom Petty In SNL Open!

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Saturday Night Live breaks its format only rarely.

The cold open sketch, which addresses one of the week's big news stories, is one of its immovable objects. But from time to time, they do change the structure — perhaps most famously when the show returned after September 11, when Paul Simon opened it singing "The Boxer" surrounded by New York City firefighters and police, as well as then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

This Saturday night, SNL broke format again. The show opened on Jason Aldean, who was on stage at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas on October 1 when the attack began that left 58 people dead and injured nearly 500. Aldean introduced himself and spoke about solidarity with everyone who was hurting in the wake of the shooting. "When America is at its best," he said, "our bond and our spirit, it's unbreakable." He then performed "I Won't Back Down," from Tom Petty's huge 1989 album Full Moon Fever. Petty died Monday night, the day after the shooting, from cardiac arrest.

Jason Aldean Cold Open - SNL

Jason Aldean pays tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting with a performance of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." #SNL #SNL43 Get more SNL: Full Episodes: Like SNL: Follow SNL: SNL Tumblr: SNL Instagram: SNL Pinterest: