EDITORS NOTE: [This story was updated to include a quote from Fayetteville City Councilmember Rich Hoffman, who spoke to the Fayette County News after publication.]
By Michael Cuneo —
The Brightmore Amphitheater in Fayetteville is set to host Aaron Lewis on April 2, despite recent comments from the Staind frontman supporting Vladimir Putin and making conspiratorial claims about the war in Ukraine.
“Maybe we should listen to what Vladimir Putin is saying,” Lewis said in a long-winded rant on stage after performing in Portsmouth, Ohio, on March 17.
Lewis’ prolonged and unrefined monologue included conspiratorial claims about COVID-19 that referred to vaccines as “poison,” American corruption involving George Soros, and supposed actors in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“If you haven’t seen Vladimir Putin actually say that he’s fighting the deep state right now, which is the same people we’re fighting, which is the same people everywhere on the face of this earth that people are fighting for freedom?” Lewis continued.
Lewis also called for those in the audience to question the validity of the war in Ukraine, claiming that actors depicted dead citizens.
“Have you seen the pictures with wooden guns and all the bodies in body bags laying in the background, and all the sudden one of the bodies starts moving, and f–king sits up and fixes his f–king body bag while the reporter is reporting.” Lewis said.
A representative for the city of Fayetteville confirmed to the Fayette County News that Lewis is still set to perform on April 2, noting that the city doesn’t take stances on such matters.
Fayetteville City Councilmember Rich Hoffman touched on Lewis’ comments, giving a clear abnegation of any political support or endorsement.
[Aaron Lewis’] positions on anything politically, or otherwise, are not any of the positions that the city of Fayetteville would stand behind or even like to admonish that they’re worth anything.” Hoffman said.
“We, as a city, do not believe in entering into national politics. That is not our position. We are more interested in local politics because national politics we have no control over.” he continued.
However, a recent Fayetteville City Council meeting opened up with a moment of reflection for the people of Ukraine, and city buildings have been lit with the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag.