Rock Band Returns to Paris to Finish the Concert Cut Short by Terror
Two months after a group of terrorists opened fire at an Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris, killing 89 people and injuring hundreds more, the band will return to the city for an encore performance.
The California-based rock group rescheduled its European tour and is offering survivors of the Nov. 13 attack complimentary tickets to its show at the Olympia Theatre on Feb. 16. The venue is about two miles from the Bataclan, the theater where Eagles of Death Metal were performing when the terrorists attacked. The 152-year-old venue was one of six sites throughout the city that extremist group the Islamic State targeted, resulting in the deaths of 130 people. The Bataclan has been closed since for renovations.
“The people of Paris have always been incredible to us, and our feeling of love towards this beautiful city and its people has been reinforced a million times over this past month,” Eagles of Death Metal said in a statement posted to the group’s website. “Hearing the stories of the survivors, the injured and those who have lost loved ones has been overwhelming.”
Lydia Vassallo, a 26-year-old Frenchwoman, is one of the survivors who plans to attend the rescheduled concert. In a Twitter interview with Newsweek, she said the show was an opportunity to seek closure, adding that “the emotions and post-traumatic stress are still very strong.” She said she’s bringing along two friends who attended the November concert, and that she’s met many more survivors since. “We are all going together as a big family,” she said. “We want to do it for us, but we are also going for all those who left this world too fast that night.”
In a video interview BBC Newsnight aired last month, Vassallo recalled a scene of chaos, confusion, and horror. “People [were] falling, everyone, like dominoes, and my body got squeezed...and that’s when I tried to jump, but I couldn’t jump, and I realized that my right leg was stuck,” she said. “My body was ready to take a shot at any time.”
The Eagles of Death Metal show next month—the third in a 21-stop tour that runs through August—won’t be the first time the band has been back in Paris since the attacks. The band performed onstage there with U2 in December.
The Irish rockers extended an invitation after rescheduling a gig that was set to take place a week after the terrorist attacks. In late December, Eagles of Death Metal also released an album of bands covering their songs as a fund-raiser for the Sweet Stuff Foundation, which pledged to donate proceeds to the survivors of the attacks.
“Not returning to finish our set was never an option,” the band said in a statement about the rescheduled tour. “We look forward to coming back in February and continuing our mission to bring rock ’n’ roll to the world.”