Eagles Of Death Metal in surprise show to mark Bataclan attack

Two members of Eagles Of Death Metal played at a brief concert in Paris to mark the second anniversary of the Bataclan massacre.
Two members of Eagles Of Death Metal played at a brief concert in Paris to mark the second anniversary of the Bataclan massacre.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Two members of Eagles Of Death Metal, the US rock band on stage at the Bataclan during the Paris attacks, played at a brief concert nearby on Monday to mark the second anniversary of the massacre.

Singer Jesse Hughes and guitarist Dave Catching were surprise guests at an event in the east of the French capital organised by survivors of the attack, in which 90 people died after jihadist gunmen stormed the concert hall.

The pair sang two songs before handing white roses to the crowd gathered outside the town hall of the 11th district, a short walk from the concert hall where French President Emmanuel Macron had led a ceremony to remember the victims.

A highly emotional Hughes threw kisses to the crowd before launching into Save A Prayer, the last song the band finished before the shooting started.

"It is difficult to not to remember the people who were taken from us like our friend Nick Alexander (the band's merchandise manager) and so many others," he told reporters.

"We watched people give their lives for their friends and we were able to bear witness to that, and now we have a burden of responsibility to make certain that everyone knows that kind of love exists in this world," he added.

"There's nothing in the world that would have kept me from here, nothing, not a thing," Hughes said, visibly moved.

"This is a testament to the resolve of a community that is determined not to let the bad guys win, under any circumstances," he added.

Hughes said he would never be put off returning to France, and had taken his mother with him this time to prove it. "There's no reason to fear anything. Look at all this, surrounded by love. We got to sing two songs terribly and people still liked us. I don't think that it gets any better than that."

However, the flamboyant singer was turned away from the Bataclan when it reopened last year for suggesting that the security guards were in on the attack.

Although he subsequently apologised for his comments, the venue's co-director Jules Frutos said staff had saved lives during the bloodbath.