PARIS (AFP) – US rock band Eagles of Death Metal appeared on stage in Paris on Tuesday (Feb 16) in front of the survivors of the Bataclan massacre in which 90 of their fans died in November.
Deafening cheers and applause rang out as the group began their set, viewed as a key moment in reviving morale in Paris after the Nov 13 terror attacks.
Their emotionally-charged appearance began to the playback of an old song by French singer Jacques Dutronc called “Paris s’eveille” – “Paris Wakes Up,” a portrait of a city about to begin the new day.
The Eagles of Death Metal had been playing at the Bataclan concert hall when jihadists with guns and explosives opened fire on defenceless fans before police stormed the venue.
The band members met around 60 survivors on Monday and the group that represents some 500 of them, Life for Paris, said many would only decide whether to go or not at the very last minute.
Some had looked to the return of the band as a moment of catharsis after months of trauma and sometimes critical injuries.
The rescheduled concert, taking place at the legendary venue l’Olympia, saw scenes of delirium as joyous fans crowd-surfed in the “moshpit” in front of the stage.
“We are having a good time tonight – amen!” said the band’s flamboyant frontman, Jesse Hughes. “Ain’t nobody going to stop us.”