Jesse Hughes last night lead the Eagles Of Death Metal through an emotional but triumphant concert in Paris, and told the crowd: “You’re stuck with me – I’m a Parisian now.”
The show, in the city’s Olympia venue, was the band’s first full-length show in France since the terror attack during their performance at the Bataclan in November, during which 89 people were shot dead.
Hughes had vowed to “finish the show” before it took place, but he admitted: “I don’t want to fall to pieces in front of everyone. It’s overwhelming. I just don’t want to let anyone down.”
EODM were joined on stage by co-founder Josh Homme, who hadn’t been present in November. The band opened with I Only Want You, then stopped partway through for a moment of silence. They didn’t perform Kiss The Devil, the track they’d just completed when the Bataclan massacre began.
Hughes, who spent much of the night blowing kisses to members of the audience, said at one point: “Let’s make a deal – this is an emotional moment for me. So if I fuck this song up, ain’t no one going to get mad at me.”
He used a guitar painted with the French tricolour for some of the show, and also held up a shirt that read “I really wannabe in Paris.”
Among the audience were many survivors of the attack, some still carrying the wounds they’d sustained. Dozens of psychological counsellors were present in case they were needed.
One survivor told the Guardian: “It was a way of finding closure. I was afraid the atmosphere was going to be very dark and sad. But it wasn’t like that. It was difficult, and yet it was a pleasure.”
Another told CNN: “”It was perfect. Everybody wanted so much to be happy, and the band didn’t leave any time for sadness. It’s good to forget, just for a moment.”
EODM met 80 Bataclan survivors ahead of the show, with Homme reporting: “It was beautiful. Were there tragic stories? Yeah, from everyone, but the gathering was not focused on that. It brought a lot of people together. A little bit of dancing goes a long way.”
Hughes added: “Nothing’s really changed for me. I still love people, I still love dancing, I still love rock‘n‘roll.”
Earlier this week, the frontman recalled his own encounter with a terrorist during the massacre, and how he believed he was seconds from death. He later said that, although it had affected his long-standing belief in the right to bear arms, he felt that “until nobody has guns, everybody has to have them.”
The band‘s rescheduled European tour continues in Germany tomorrow night.
Eagles Of Death Metal The Nos Amis tour
Feb 18: Munich Tonhalle, Germany
Feb 19: Zagreb Tvornica Kulture, Croatia
Feb 20: Budapest Akvarium, Hungary
Feb 22: Vienna Arena, Austria
Feb 23: Zurich Komplex, Switzerland
Feb 24: Lille Le Splendid, France
Feb 25: Brussles Forest Club, Belgium
Feb 27: Treviso New Age, Italy
Feb 28: Turin 10100, Italy
Feb 29: Rome Orion, Italy
Mar 02: Nimes La Paloma, France
Mar 03: Barcelona Apolo, Spain
Mar 04: Madrid Joy Eslava, Spain
Mar 05: Lisbon Coliseum, Portugal
Aug 09: Katowice Mega Club, Poland
Aug 11: Copenhagan Amager Bio, Denmark
Aug 15: Bremen Aladin, Germany
Aug 16: Cologne Live Music Hall, Germany
Aug 26-28: Reading And Leeds festivals, UK