U2 Visit Memorial for Victims of Paris Attacks
U2 were supposed to spend tonight (Nov. 14) performing in Paris, with the concert broadcast live on HBO. Instead, they placed flowers at a makeshift memorial for the victims of last night's terrorist attacks near the Bataclan theater, the site of the most bloodshed.
The group were in the middle of a four-night stand at the AccorHotels Arena, only a few miles from the Bataclan, but have called off both the last two shows due to the tragedy. "We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris," they said in a statement, "and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight. We are devastated at the loss of life at the Eagles of Death Metal concert and our thoughts and prayers are with the band and their fans. And we hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe.”
They added that the concerts and the broadcast will be rescheduled "at an appropriate time."
Earlier today, Bono spoke about the attacks with Dave Fanning of Dublin RTE 2, “Really our first thoughts at this point are with the Eagles fans, the Eagles of Death Metal and this is if you think about it, you think about it, the majority of victims from last night’s attacks were music fans. So this really is the first direct hit on music we’ve had in this so-called war on terror. We know that they don’t like music […] and this and the cold-blooded aspect of last night’s attacks are what are really upsetting because it means it could have been any of us.”
He added that "U2 has a role to play and I can’t wait till we get back to Paris and play and that’s what I’m feeling from the messages we’re receiving from music fans is these people will not set our agenda. They will not organize our lives for us."
Bono then drew a parallel between last night and being in New York 14 years ago. "I remember U2 is the first big act back into New York after 9/11. We played Madison Square Garden and the feeling of Madison Square Garden was just unbelievable and the feeling was just this is who we are, you can’t change it. You’re not gonna turn us into haters or you’re not gonna turn us around in the way we go about our lives. That was the feeling of Madison Square Garden back then and I hope that will be the feeling at [the arena] when we get back there."
In an eerie coincidence, U2's concert in Stockholm, Sweden back in September was canceled shortly before it was supposed to begin when it was learned that a man in the crowd had a gun and was planning to shoot an audience member. The concert was rescheduled for two days later.