Mon, Nov 16, 2015 - Page 6 News List

PARIS ATTACKS: Music world in shock over attack

AFP, PARIS

Irish band U2, center, pay homage at a site near the Bataclan theater on Saturday to people killed in the Paris attacks.

Photo: AFP

The assault on one of the leading concert halls in Paris has sent shockwaves through the music world, with top-selling artists including U2 and the Foo Fighters calling off shows.

“Shocked, sad and angry. We are all Parisian today,” tweeted Peter Gabriel, one of many prominent musicians who took to social media after Friday’s night coordinated attacks in the French capital.

More than 80 people were killed inside the Bataclan theater as gunmen opened fire during a performance by the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal, an attack for which the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

French Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin on Saturday laid a bouquet of flowers in front of the Bataclan, a historic venue, which is notable for its 19th-century chinoiserie architecture.

A short while earlier, an anonymous man brought a mobile keyboard near the entrance and played songs, including John Lennon’s pacifist anthem Imagine under the eye of a pack of photographers.

The music industry was directly touched by the tragedy, with at least three employees of Universal Music France, part of the largest global label group, among the dead.

“The Universal Music family is in mourning,” tweeted Pascal Negre, president of Universal Music France, as he identified the dead by the first names Thomas, Marie and Manu.

“This is crazy. It’s normally a pleasant place where people come to relax and then it was hell,” said Pierre Janaszak, a television and radio presenter.

The 35-year-old told reporters that he survived by hiding in the restrooms as the assailants took hostages and was freed in the police counterassault.

Members of Eagles of Death Metal, a bluesy, garage rock band known for lascivious lyrics, but rarely politics, were unhurt and were returned to the US, although a crew member was killed, people close to the group said.

The Deftones, another California-based band who were in the audience ahead of their own since-canceled shows at the Bataclan, were also safe and leaving Paris.

The Bataclan is one of the most prominent Paris venues for successful, but eclectic bands.

The night before the assault, the acclaimed electronic artist St Germain performed with an ensemble of Malian musicians.

“We are devastated. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones,” said Jules Frutos and Olivier Poubelle, the Bataclan’s owners, in a statement.

“We are also thinking about our exemplary staff, but also about the audience and artists present last night in our venue,” they said.

France imposed a state of emergency after the attack and the city on Saturday closed all cultural venues.

U2 had already canceled a concert on Saturday at the 20,000-seat Bercy Arena, the biggest covered concert hall in Paris, despite weeks of promotion for a live television broadcast on HBO.

The Irish rockers led by Bono later also visited the Bataclan to pay their respects.

U2, whose last concert tour was the highest-grossing in musical history and are winding down their latest global trek, also called off a second date at Bercy yesterday.

The Foo Fighters — whose frontman Dave Grohl has collaborated with Eagles of Death Metal — separately announced that the band was cutting short its world tour.

“In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders and international mourning, we can’t continue right now. There is no other way to say it. This is crazy and it sucks,” the band said in a statement.

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