Mystery over Bataclan band’s return to Paris

Will they or won't they? Music fans were left guessing over whether the Eagles of Death Metal, who survived a jihadist attack on their concert in Paris last month, would make an emotional return to the stage alongside U2 Monday.

Mystery over Bataclan band's return to Paris
Musician Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal at an October perform
Expectation has been mounting since the Irish rock group gave strong hints last week about “special guests” joining them at their two rescheduled Paris gigs.
U2 had been due to play on November 14 and 15, but the gigs were cancelled after the shootings and suicide bombings that left 130 people dead.
There has been no official confirmation that the Eagles of Death Metal will appear, despite fevered speculation on social media.
Deepening the mystery, it was singer Patti Smith that joined U2 for the last song of Sunday night's concert at the packed 16,000-capacity AccorHotels Arena.
Just before the show, the band management said “some people have been saying that Eagles of Death Metal will appear on stage with U2 tonight. This is not the case.”
The statement, however, did not rule out an appearance by the California rockers on Monday night, and sources were still suggesting they would appear for the finale of the concert, which will be broadcast on US cable channel HBO.
'Vive la France!' 
“Vive la France!” U2's lead singer Bono roared as he walked out on stage for Sunday's night's concert.
“Tonight, we are all Parisians. If you love liberty, then Paris is your hometown,” he added in a mixture of French and English to rapturous applause.
But the emotional high-point of the show came at the end after Smith had joined the band for a rousing version of her song “People Have The Power”.
As the lights went down a giant screen was lit up in the red, white and blue colours of the French flag carrying the names of the 130 victims of the attacks, as Bono sang a part of Jacques Brel's standard “Ne me quitte pas” (Don't Leave Me).
Symbolic resistance 
Earlier the U2 frontman revealed he had written a song about attacks, the worst of which saw 90 people killed by gunman in the Bataclan music venue just as the Eagles of Death Metal began to play.
Bono recited lyrics from “Streets of Surrender” in an interview with CNN, saying he had started writing the song for Italian singer and long-time friend, Zucchero.
“Every man's got one city of liberty, for me it's Paris, I love it,” the song goes.
“Every time I get lost down these ancient streets, I find myself again. I didn't come here to fight you. I came down these streets of love and pride to surrender.”
The song also touches on the refugee crisis, with a lyric mentioning the young Syrian boy photographed dead on a Turkish beach earlier this year.
The band's guitarist The Edge said in the same interview that the group's decision to return so quickly to Paris was a symbolic act of resistence.
“I think we're actually starting the process of resistance, of defiance against this movement,” he said, referring to the Islamic State group that carried out the killings.
U2 said they tried to help “our fellow troubadors” Eagles of Death Metal in the aftermath of the killings, getting them mobile phones, psychological help, and putting a private jet at their disposal.
Meanwhile, Jesse Hughes, the lead singer of the Californian group, who wants the band to be the first to play the Bataclan when it reopens next year, has raised eyebrows in France with his vehement opposition to gun control in the US and support for Donald Trump, the controversial Republican contender for the White House.
A documentary about the colourful singer, “The Redemption of the Devil”, was pulled from the Amsterdam film festival last month in the wake of the killings.
In the film, the singer, who is also a priest in the Universal One Church, brandishes various firearms as he jokes with friends.


Singer claims Bataclan attack was inside job

The frontman of the band whose concert turned into a terrorist bloodbath in Paris has suggested the attack was an inside job, saying he was suspicious of the club's security guards.

Singer claims Bataclan attack was inside job
Photo: AFP

The Bataclan bosses angrily rejected the “senseless” claim and said that Jesse Hughes' (see photo) allegations were made because he was traumatized.

Hughes, the singer and guitarist of Eagles of Death Metal, said he immediately felt uneasy when setting up for the November 13th show as a guard in charge of the backstage area at the Bataclan club did not make eye contact.

“I didn't like him at all. And so I immediately went to the promoter and said, 'Who's that guy? I want to put another dude on,'” Hughes said in an interview broadcast late on Wednesday with Fox Business.

“He goes, 'Well, some of the other guards aren't here yet.' And eventually I found out that six or so wouldn't show up at all,” Hughes said.

“Out of respect for the police still investigating, I won't make a definite statement, but I'll say it seems rather obvious that they had a reason not to show up.”

As the California rockers were playing, assailants opened fire and threw grenades to kill 90 people, the deadliest in a series of coordinated attacks around Paris claimed by the Islamic State group that left a total of 130 dead and 350 injured, many seriously.

Hughes said that one of the assailants allowed three fans to leave the venue, in what he saw as further proof that the culprits had previous knowledge of the Bataclan, a famed Paris venue for mid-sized rock shows.

“The senseless statements of Mr. Jesse Hughes are the result of the enormous trauma,” the Bataclan said in a statement.

“All witness accounts from the day show the professionalism and courage of the security personnel,” it said, adding “their intervention likely saved hundreds of people.”

“A judicial process is under way,” it said. “We would like justice to complete its work calmly.”

Hughes previously made similar allegations in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, saying he wished he had “followed my instinct” as the soundman had spotted two people inside the club before the show whose attire and behaviour were at striking odds with the typical rock audience.

Hughes, in contrast to many rockers, was known even before the attacks for his right-leaning views and support for the right to own guns in the United States.

In the interview with Fox Business, Hughes said he was not necessarily advocating gun ownership but wished that fans had ways to defend themselves.

“I don't want to shoot anybody – I would hate to do that,” he said, breaking down with emotion.

“But I, more than that, do not want to let the bad guys take any of my people, and I don't want to go out like a punk.”