Eagles of Death Metal And The Recovery From Tragedy

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Featured image credits to Charles Platiau/Reuters

In the wake of Scott Weiland’s death, which has been a huge ordeal and sorrow for many of our readers as well as contributors, some news developments have not been reported on the Eagles of Death Metal and their relationship with the tragic Paris Attacks last month, of which 89 people were killed by ISIL/Daesh operatives in the Bataclan where the play was playing a sold out show. For those who have missed these developments, they will be consolidated in one larger article.

After the attacks struck Paris, the Deftones and U2, the two largest acts that were currently scheduled for tour dates in Paris, cancelled them. Bono of U2, in the philanthropic way only Bono can provide, decided to begin the engagement of a triumphant return of rock music to Paris despite the scars of the recent tragedies in the City of Lights.

U2 returned to Paris for concert dates on December 6th and 7th at the AccorHotels Arena, replacing the older scheduled shows for November 14th and 15th. These dates are also regarded as the last tour dates for their 2015 “Innocence + Experience” Tour, their first tour in four years. It is also worth noting the two previous nights, Pathway to Peace hosted a two night concert in Paris starring the likes of Patti Smith, Flea, Thom Yorke (who debuted new material), Warren Ellis and others.

Triumphantly, on the second night of U2’s residency, they were joined on stage by Eagles of Death Metal, with Jesse Hughes in a stunning white disco-looking suit, rocking it as hard as the band did the stage and audience with their cover of “People Have the Power” by Patti Smith. After the cover, U2 left the stage as Eagles of Death Metal had a chance to perform their song from Zipper Down, “I Love You All the Time,” which is currently the subject of a campaign in which the band encourages other musicians and acts to cover the song, and royalty proceeds will go to charity. The song, ironically, also features French lyrics. Current cover versions so far include Savages, Matt Cameron & Alain Johannes, the Dean Ween Group and others.

The band also returned to the Bataclan, to physically pay their respects to the victims of the ISIS attack there, in which they narrowly escaped. They put flowers out and stood for a couple of minutes, reading tributes and, in one way to put it, mourning.

When my friend Justin and I got to meet Eagles of Death Metal just weeks before Paris, they put on a rambunctious, floor stomping show. Much like Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme’s other band, Eagles of Death Metal are part of a larger royal house, that of rock n’roll. From B.B. King down to Elvis to the Beatles to Led Zeppelin, they are contenders to the throne of rock n’roll, a prestigious princedom with groves of growls, rhythms and grooves protected by hordes of guitar-welding knights.  For me, it is incredibly frustrating, on top of sad and tragic, that a band like this has been subject to such a tragedy which left 89 fans and crew members dead. I had talked to the whole band and no matter what kind of front some of them might have put up, I could see their bonds radiating off the stage and it is always nice to see bands with great chemistry and harmony that rules them. Never in a million years would I have guessed this would have happened them, but thankfully they are going about this the best they can. They are not giving up, which is what their fans that have passed on would have wanted.

Currently, there are many factions of American and international society who are spitting out hate against certain groups of people, like Muslims, over the incidents in Paris, Beirut and San Bernardino. There factions are too obvious to bring to name or too subtle to mention, but you know who are. I have seen none of that from the artists directly affected by these incidents and it is incredibly inspiring. I salute you, Eagles of Death Metal. Heal on, rock on.

Rock and roll never fucking dies.