During a concert by the American band Eagles of Death Metal, the Paris venue Bataclan became a deadly trap for over 100 concert-goers.
A European tour took the rock band to the stage of the sold-out Bataclan, playing to 1,500 spectators on the evening of November 13. An eyewitness reported that several terrorists shot into the crowd for over ten minutes.
In the hall Friday evening, journalist Julien Tierce of radio broadcaster Europe 1 reported, “The concert was in progress when several armed persons forced their way in. Two or three were unmasked. They immediately began shooting wildly all around with machine guns like kalaschnikovs. It went on for 10 or 15 minutes. It was extremely violent. Panic broke out. Everyone ran toward the stage. The assassins had enough time to reload at least three times. They weren’t camouflaged. They seemed very calm. They were very young.” According to police, the attack, which began around 9:30 p.m., resulted in over 100 deaths. Four of the attackers were killed as well.
A concert hall with a history
In Paris’s city center, the Bataclan, named after “Ba-ta-clan,” an opera by Jacques Offenbach, has served as a concert hall since it was built in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, entertainers like Buffalo Bill performed at the Bataclan; chanson singer Maurice Chevalier had his early successes there. Later a movie theater, it was eventually restored as a concert hall.
The facade in the style of a Chinese pagoda and with rows of red seats, the Bataclan is a popular venue in the French capital. Recent years have seen mostly rock and pop concerts there. Lou Reed, John Cale und Nico made a legendary appearance in January 1972. Initially circulating as a bootleg copy, a recording of the concert was officially released on a CD named “Le Bataclan ’72” in 2004.
US rockband on tour in Europe
The “Eagles of Death Metal” are a rock band from the US led by singer and guitarist Jesse “The Devil” Hughes. Founded in 1998, the formation has changed members several times. The group’s first studio album in 2004 came after a live album release the year before and was followed by a number of chart successes in the US, Great Britain and Germany.
Despite the name, the group is not a death metal band. Classic, danceable songs and highly dynamic shows have made the Eagles of Death Metal a successful live formation. After a six-year hiatus, it re-emerged with a new album in 2015.