Sting has reopened the Bataclan concert hall in Paris a year after terrorists killed 90 people at the venue.
The venue was one of the places Islamic terrorists targeted in co-ordinated attacks in the French capital on 13 November, 2015. Armed jihadists from the so-called Islamic State had detonated bombs outside the Stade de France and a busy area full of bars and restaurants earlier in the night, before heading to the Bataclan.
Around 1,500 people were watching U.S. rockers Eagles of Death Metal when the gunmen burst in last year.
Sting opened his hour-long emotional set on Saturday (12Nov16) with a minute of silence in remembrance of those killed in the attack. The venue fell quiet, with Sting lowering his head. He then softly launched into his song Fragile, singing the lyrics, “Nothing comes from violence and nothing will.”
He wrote a message of support on Instagram after the gig, alongside a shot of him performing at the venue. “In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile,” Sting wrote. “First, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents.
“In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them.”
Sting has said all proceeds from the show would be donated to Life for Paris and 13 Novembre: Fraternite Verite, two organisations supporting the victims of the attacks and their families.
Survivors and family members of those who died in the Bataclan were among the 1,000-strong crowd, and were seated in balconies overlooking the pit. However, many of the seats were empty, CNN reports.
The singer dedicated his track 50,000 to David Bowie, Prince, Motorhead frontman Lemmy, Leonard Cohen and the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, all of whom died in the past year.
All of the 130 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in Paris will be remembered in a series of events over the weekend (12-13Nov16). A memorial service was held outside the Bataclan on Sunday at 11am.
The venue will open again on Wednesday for a series of concerts by rocker Pete Doherty, Senegalese star Youssou N’Dour and Marianne Faithfull.