Eagles of Death Metal performed an emotional concert in Paris, France, on Tuesday night (16Feb16).
The rock band took to the stage at the Olympia venue in the French capital just three months after their gig at the Bataclan was targeted by terrorists last year (15). Struggling to hold back his tears, frontman Jesse Hughes told the crowd, “Bonsoir (good evening), Paris, we’re ready for this!” before launching into their first song I Only Want You.
Halfway through the track, the band stopped and Jesse led the audience in an 89 second silence, to mark the 89 people who were killed during the 13 November (15) attack.
Security was understandably tight around the event, with police surrounding the venue and the streets to ensure no further attacks could take place.
The heavy police presence was comforting for many who attended the gig, including one of the attack’s survivors, Florian Novac.
“After the attacks… I felt apprehension even being at the movies,” he told AFP. “Now (I’ve seen the security) I’m not afraid, I am confident.”
Another survivor Julien, 27, told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper: “It was a way of finding closure. I was afraid the atmosphere was going to be very dark and sad. But it wasn’t like that. It was difficult, and yet it was a pleasure.”
While the concert was in many ways a tribute to those who had tragically lost their lives, it was also an opportunity for people to let loose and enjoy the music. Speaking prior to the performance, Jesse said he wanted to ensure the audience had a good time.
“Rock and roll for me has always been fun, and I am not going to let anyone take that away from me or my friends,” he said, according to France 24.
The band certainly achieved their aim with an energetic gig, although they deliberately left out their track Kiss the Devil, which they had been playing when the attack took place in November (15).
During their performance of one track, Jesse appeared overcome with emotion as he told the crowd: “Let’s make a deal, this is an emotional moment for me so if I f**k this song up, ain’t no one going to get mad at me.”