Californian rock band Eagles of Death Metal made an emotional return to Paris on Tuesday night, completing the Bataclan theater concert that was cut short by Islamic gunmen last November.
“Bonsoir Paris, we’re ready for this!” frontman Jesse Hughes yelled, when the band tool the stage at the Olympia concert hall, according to media reports.
Ninety people were killed when ISIS terrorists opened fire on the audience at the Bataclan on November 13. Many of those in the audience on Tuesday night were survivors of the Bataclan, some on crutches, and the families of the deceased.
A team of 30 volunteer psychologists and counsellors were on hand. The band had promised to fight terror with fun, but there were still frequent tears shed by both members of the band and many in the audience.
The band poured "so much nervous energy into their gig that Hughes complained of 'tearing a tendon in my middle finger,'" the Guardian reported.
"A frenzied rock’n’roll atmosphere was whipped up by Hughes who alternately wept, laughed, danced, smashed a guitar and held hands with a survivor in a wheelchair after he ran up to the balcony seats."
Helene, 42, who was in the front row when the killers burst in to the Bataclan, said she hoped seeing the band again would bring some closure. "It will allow me to finish the concert," she told the Mail Online.
'I'm going to go to the Olympia," said Guillaume Munier, 29, who survived the original concert by hiding in a toilet, "but I really don't know if I'll be able to go inside."
Hughes himself admitted to nerves and great sadness. “Let’s make a deal, this is an emotional moment for me so if I fuck this song up, ain’t no one going to get mad at me,” he said at one point.
In interviews with the French media before the concert, Hughes said that the massacre proved everyone should carry firearms - and that it might not have occurred if the audience had been armed.
The American singer, 43, said France's strict gun control laws "had nothing to do with" the jihadist attack, adding: "Until nobody has guns, everybody has to have them.'
Hughes questioned whether gun control had saved any lives. "I don't think so. I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I've ever seen in my life charging head first into the face of death with their firearms.
'I know people will disagree with me... but that night guns made them equal. And I hate it that it's that way. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them."
Hughes is a member of America's National Rifle Association and a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
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