The members of U2 all showed up outside the Bataclan Concert Hall on Saturday to pay their respects to the victims of the terrorist attack on Paris last Friday night. U2, who were scheduled to play an HBO broadcasted show in Paris this weekend, decided that it was way too early to play in the city. The band made it clear that the people of Paris need time to heal and to mourn. “It was canceled, honest, and I understand perfectly why,” Bono said in a statement, “It’s up to the French authorities and the city to decide when we can go back.”
Bono brought up another important point in the band’s statements. He talked of how the attack was a direct hit on music and on the culture of France in general. A large portion of the tragedy on Friday night centered around the Bataclan, in which the band Eagles of Death Metal were playing a show at the time of the attack. “If you think about it, the majority of victims last night are music fans,” he stated, “this is the first direct hit on music that we’ve had in this so-called War on Terror or whatever it’s called.” Bono’s message highlighted the importance of solidarity within the music community. Music fans all look after each other, he seemed to stress, and this tragedy will not destroy that bond. “It’s very upsetting. These are our people. This could be me at a show. You at a show, in that venue,” he stated, “It’s a very recognizable situation for you and for me and the coldblooded aspect of this slaughter is deeply disturbing and that’s what I can’t get out of my head.”
In the end, the band’s message was one of strength and perseverance in the face of extreme pain and mourning. Speaking on behalf of all music fans and the people of Paris, Bono stated, “These people will not set our agenda. They will not organize our lives for us…[terrorists] are not going to turn us into haters or turn us around in the way we go about our lives.”
As to when their concert will be rescheduled, a date still has not been set. Paris, obviously, needs time for its wounds to heal. The prayers and thoughts of the entire music community are with the victims and their families, and we all stand with the people of France in their struggle against evil.