Like many people around the world Friday afternoon into the night, I was glued to my computer as the news came trickling out from Paris on the widespread and coordinated terrorist attacks that led to the death of 129 people, the vast majority of which were fans and staff at the Bataclan music venue seeing an Eagles of Death Metal show. Watching, hearing, and reading about it in real-time was the kind of horrifying event that just leaves you with the sensation of a bottomless pit in your stomach. It renders you feeling helpless, depressed, nauseated, angry, and a whole other mixture of complicated emotions. As details surrounding the attacks — of how they were carried out, by whom, and what, if anything, can really even be done to prevent such things from happening again in the future — are slowly uncovered and probed, for now we find ourselves in a state of mourning, particularly as more people became aware of another (and far less-covered) gruesome attack in the Lebanese capital of Beirut just the day prior to the Paris attacks.
Naturally we all want to feel like we’re contributing in some way to show our support in solidarity with the people directly and indirectly affected by these attacks. That’s why simple gestures like Facebook’s French flag avatar option spread so widely so quickly. Likewise, the music community has seen an enormous outpouring of support for the EoDM family, who lost one of their own in merch manager Nick Alexander. In the past couple of days though there’s been an unfortunate trend taking shape. A string of international touring bands are now canceling upcoming concerts in Paris, including U2 (who were supposed to be filming an HBO special), Foo Fighters, Motorhead, and Deftones (who were slated to play a 3-day residency at the Bataclan and some of whom were in attendance at the EoDM show). And, quite frankly, it’s a damn shame, especially when these kinds of shows are what are exactly needed at a time like this.