The group and its crew would have been on stage when the disaster struck. But following a pre-show prayer circle, their stage manager held them all back because of the bad weather.
"Moments before we were about to take the stage, a huge gust of wind blew in and collapsed the entire stage, wounding over 40 people and killing five," said Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles during the New Mexico concert.
The images are still startling to see- damage and pain caused by wind gusts between 60 and 70 mph that turned a state fair into a state of mourning.
Sugarland canceled their Sunday show at the Iowa State Fair but said earlier this week they were looking forward to getting their "touring family" back together and using their music to help with healing.
The band and its touring family stood on a different stage ready to once again perform. But not before acknowledging those lost in the tragedy with a moment of silence.
When the silence ended, the music began. Nettles and Kristian Bush were joined on stage by their crew for a pre-concert number. Nettles performed "Love" from the group's new album.
Sugarland is known for having elaborate sets. But Thursday night, that just wasn't important at all.
"Obviously in the loss of our set and our instruments and our equipment, this incredible machine looks very different right now," said Nettles. "But we are going to try our best to put on our professional faces and come out here for you and celebrate a moment with you of the joy and healing power of music."
They plan a private memorial for the victims in Indiana.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.