On the second night of their return to City of Light after the Paris attacks of November 13, U2 on Monday welcomed Eagles of Death Metal onstage during the encore for their HBO special. “They were robbed of their stage, so we would like to offer them ours,” said frontman Bono introducing the band. The California rockers were playing a show of their own at the Bataclan concert when the terror attacks started last month.
Gunmen took fans in the central Paris venue hostage that night and 89 people were killed in the Bataclan – including several members of EODM’s crew and record company support staff. The total toll of the murderous rampage that struck the Bataclan as well as restaurants and an international soccer game were 130 people.
With dates rescheduled from their postponed November 14 and 15 shows, the band will see the airing of U2: Innocence and Experience Live in Paris at 9 PM ET tonight on HBO. The concert special was originally supposed to be on the premium cabler on November 14, but was shuttered the day before when the city officials closed down most municipal buildings and gatherings as France went into a state of emergency.
Rehearsing onstage at Paris’ Accorhotels Arena when the attacks started, U2 stayed in town in the immediate aftermath. On November 14, the band placed flowers at a candlelit vigil near the Bataclan concert venue. “We are all Parisians tonight,” Bono said to the cheering arena Monday after the band played their first few songs. “If you believe in liberty, Paris is your home town,” Bono also told the crowd, like he had on Sunday. “We choose love over fear.” Additionally, the singer spoke of the victims of last week’s shooting in San Bernardino as well as the family members of those who have become ensnared by a perversion of the “beautiful religion” of Islam. Only footage from Monday’s show will be used in tonight’s HBO special, sources tell me.
EODM were rumored to be special guests of U2 on the first night of their 2-night Paris stint this week but frontman Bono said the SoCal band would not be joining the Irish band on Sunday. Patti Smith actually came onstage with the band to sing her classic ‘People Have The Power” and pay tribute to the victims of the attacks. It was Smith’s song that EODM played a cover of tonight with U2 to the tens of thousands in the Accorhotels Arena. EODM also performed one of their own tunes after U2 left the stage.
It wasn’t a secret that U2 were planning something special for Monday’s show. Bassist Adam Clayton today told fans on a video posted on the band’s Facebook page that they had “some things planned for the show” including a “great finale” and “we’ve got something else happening tonight.” With EODM seen arriving in Paris earlier on Monday, we now know what that “something else” was.