Musicians Respond to Attack at the Bataclan Theater

Stephanie Conlon

With the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, many people are taking it as their personal responsibility to voice their concerns and support. Musicians and artists are no exception to this and are even more vulnerable to the situation because of the attacks at the Bataclan Theatre.

On Nov. 13, a well known concert venue in the eleventh district of Paris was attacked during an Eagles of Death Metal concert. Several shooters entered the building with nearly 1,500 music fans during the show, killing 129 of those in attendance and injuring hundreds more. The California based rock band was roughly half way through their European tour at the time and were unaware of any danger.

Musicians and artists from around the world have begun to speak out with the utmost disgust for the attack and the slaughter of innocent peers enjoying a night in a city known for its arts and culture. While everyone has been affected by the attack in different ways, music has always had a power and unifying quality during times of tragedy like this.

Many artists such as U2 and the Foo Fighters have cancelled shows and tours as a result of the ongoing state of emergency across France. A representative from the Foo Fighters has announced, “It is with profound sadness and heartfelt concern for everyone in Paris that we have been forced to announce the cancellation of the rest of our 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. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was hurt or who lost a loved one.”

Following this attack, Madonna made the decision to continue with the Stockholm show of her “Rebel Heart.” While on stage, she explained the reasoning behind playing the show, against the wishes of her management. “I was going to cancel my show tonight, but then I thought to myself, why should I give that to them? Why should I allow them to stop me, to stop us, from enjoying freedom? …These are freedoms that we take for granted, of course, and we must not. But they are freedoms that we deserve!”

Other notable artists who have spoken out include the Killers’s front man Brandon Flowers, who in an interview with Loaded magazine, pleaded to fans not to be afraid of music as a result of the Bataclan attack.

“Some of the greatest experiences in my life have been at concerts,” he said. “To think that people will be afraid to go to concerts now is a shame. I hope we don’t let what happened get the better of us… I’m not the ambassador for all musicians… My heart goes out to the people who died. But I feel it’s important to try not to be afraid.”

While celebrities and pop stars are getting the most attention for their efforts to support those who lost loved ones in the attack, perhaps the most heartfelt comes from an anonymous piano player, who set up a concert grand piano outside of the Bataclan Theatre. Playing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the unknown musician reminded all who pass by the theater that all of the bad will pass and that those lost will never be forgotten.