Sunday 4 December 2016

Eagles Of Death Metal return to Paris stage with U2

Published 07/12/2015 | 22:51

Bono of U2 performs on stage during a concert in Paris (AP)
Bono of U2 performs on stage during a concert in Paris (AP)

The Eagles Of Death Metal have returned to a Paris stage less than a month after their last concert was cut short by a terrorist attack in which 130 people died.

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The California rockers were invited to the stage for an emotional encore by U2 during their second night of rescheduled gigs in the French capital.

Bono called them brothers before giving them the floor in a packed and bouncing AccorHotels Arena in the Bercy district, not far from where 130 people were gunned down indiscriminately.

"They were robbed of their stage three weeks ago - we would like to offer them ours tonight," he said.

Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes took the mic dressed in a white suit and vowed: "Paris we love you and we will never give up rock and roll."

Earlier, U2 added a poignant mark of respect to the victims of the terror attacks with a huge display of the French tricolour and the names of those who died.

The performance took place on the banks of the Seine, near the 11th arrondissement where terrorists targeted the Bataclan theatre as Eagles Of Death Metal played before pubs, cafes and restaurants were turned into bloodbaths.

It was the second show in a two-night run on the acclaimed Innocence + Experience Tour after the Irish stars rescheduled concerts which were originally due to be held in the days after the attacks.

Bono had vowed it would be their best.

Opening the show he said: "We're in Paris - feels like the whole world is in Paris. We are all Parisiennes tonight.

"If you believe in liberte, Paris is your home town.

"Thank you for welcoming us back and allowing us to come here and tell our story and allowing us to tell you a little something about our lives when your lives have been turned upside down."

The singer also penned a new song - Streets of Surrender (SOS) - in the wake of the horrific attacks.

One of the few acts to defy security concerns to play in Paris in the wake of the atrocities was veteran Northern Ireland punk bank Stiff Little Fingers, formed in 1977 at the height of the Troubles.

The U2 concert was filmed live and will be shown on HBO.

The band teed up the anticipated performance by asking fans to post questions to them on social media which were answered before the show.

In a video interview with Vice News last week, Hughes recalled how the gunmen, after storming the venue, killed everyone who had fled into a dressing room apart from ''a kid who was hiding under my leather jacket''.

Hughes broke down as he spoke of the selflessness of those caught up in the horror, including 36-year-old merchandise manager Nick Alexander, from Colchester, Essex, who was killed.

He said: ''(Nick) stayed quiet and never called for help until he bled out, because he didn't want anyone else to get hurt.''

Sound engineer Shawn London recalled the chilling moment he made eye contact with one of the gunmen from behind his console.

When the gunfire first erupted, many people ran to hide behind his desk.

Mr London said: ''He looked right at me. He shot at me and missed. It hit my console and buttons went flying everywhere.''

Hughes fought back tears as he spoke of the guilt he felt at leaving his fellow musicians on the stage, and not knowing if they had made it out alive.

He said the hallways of the venue were ''like a labyrinth'' as terrified concert-goers searched for a way out.

Drummer Julian Dorio vowed to finish their Paris gig, saying he was ''counting down the days'' until they can do so.

Hughes told Vice he ''cannot wait'' to get back to Paris.

He said: ''I want to be the first band to play in the Bataclan when it opens back up, because I was there when it went silent for a minute.''

Co-founder Josh Homme said: ''We don't really have a choice. We have to finish the tour."

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