Eagles Of Death Metal perform at U2 Paris gig

PARIS • Eagles Of Death Metal, the California rock band that were onstage at the Bataclan when assailants opened fire on the crowd last month, made an emotional and powerful appearance at a U2 concert in the city on Monday.

"There's nothing left but to introduce you to some people whose lives will forever be a part of the life of Paris," U2 frontman Bono, said at the end of the last gig of their Innocence And Experience tour after the American band's remaining European shows were cancelled in the wake of the attacks.

"These are our brothers. They were robbed of their stage three weeks ago and we would like to offer them ours tonight."

He embraced the band's white- suited singer Jesse Hughes before they broke into a rousing rendition of Patti Smith's People Have The Power. The Eagles then played their own song, I Love You All The Time.

In a highly charged concert at the AccorHotels Arena, filled with references to the victims of the Paris attacks, Bono said: "We must also think of the terrorists' families... I know it is hard right now."

He said they had also been robbed of their loved ones, by "an ideology that is a perversion of the beautiful religion of Islam".

His comments came after the searing high-point of the show when a screen, lit up in the colours of the French flag, showed the names of the Paris victims as Bono sang Jacques Brel's haunting Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave Me).

The packed 16,000-seat venue also fell momentarily silent after a version of the band's anthem Sunday Bloody Sunday, which turns on the line, "Can't believe the news today".

"Do you want to be afraid, to look at your fellow citizens with suspicion, turn away our neighbours," Bono said in a plea for tolerance later in the show.

"You will not have our hatred," he said, taking up a line in a letter Mr Antoine Leiris, who lost his wife at the Bataclan, wrote to her killers.

U2's concert, one of two that were postponed after the attack, was shown on Monday night on HBO. Ninety people died at the Bataclan as the Eagles were just starting their set.

Bono also said rock 'n'roll helped him after the death of his mother.

"Grief is like a wound that never fully closes. I am still feeling it and I was 14 when my mother left me, but she left me as an artist and this wound became an opening into another world and I found these three (pointing to his band).

"Rock 'n' roll saved me, these men saved me, you saved me," he said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'Eagles Of Death Metal perform at U2 Paris gig'. Print Edition | Subscribe