California-based band, Eagles of Death Metal, were set to perform at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris Friday night when the deadly hostage situation occurred. According to a U.S. official, all members of the band are safe and accounted for.
While it is still unclear how many people were inside the concert hall at the time of the attack, French authorities are reporting that at least 120 people were killed at six separate sites in the French capital from various shootings and explosions.
Eagles of Death Metal were reportedly formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, California and are currently on tour to promote the October release of their first album in seven years, Zipper Down.
— The Australian (@australian) November 14, 2015
According to Reuters, on Friday the band was set to perform at the Bataclan concert hall in the Oberkampf area of Paris when people inside the venue were taken hostage by four terrorists.
As the situation unfurled, band management said on the band’s official Facebook page, “We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation.”
In a comment on the Facebook post, Otis Driftwood quoted The Washington Post as saying the band members are all safe and that the wife of drummer, Julian Dorio, had said, “We are just holding our breath and saying prayers for everyone,” adding, “He called to say that he loved me and he was safe. Everyone on stage was able to get off.”
A report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, quoted the brother of the band’s drummer, Julian Dorio, who hails from Atlanta, as saying all the band members had escaped the Bataclan concert hall and that they were unharmed from the brutal attack.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) November 14, 2015
Michael Dorio said, “They saw a man with a machine gun just opening fire,” and added he was told by his brother that the band members hit the floor as soon as they saw the gunmen and then escaped via a backstage door.
The Eagles of Death Metal band members reportedly then ran to a nearby police station where Julian Dorio used someone’s cell phone to contact his family in Atlanta to assure them he was safe. According to the Atlanta based news service, Dorio is not a full-time member with the band, but joined them for the European tour.
Jose Homme, who is one of the founders of the band, and the leader of the band Queens of the Stone Age, was reportedly not present at the event in Paris with the Eagles of Death Metal. Homme formed the band with his friend Jessie Hughes, and despite the fact that their name is Eagles of Death Metal, their sound is reportedly a mix of garage rock and blues rock.
After the tragic hostage situation at the Bataclan concert hall, Jo Ellen Hughes, mother of Jesse Hughes, told a Reuters correspondent that she had spoken to her son by telephone and that Jesse was unhurt but “very upset and shaken.”
“From my understanding, I think the whole band’s been accounted for.”
According to Mrs. Hughes, she believes the band had just gone on stage when the attack started, but she had no other information besides the fact that the Eagles of Death Metal band members had been taken into protective custody at a police station in Paris.
According to the band’s official website, Eagles of Death Metal have several concerts planned for the their tour, including stops in Barcelona, Munich, Rome and Stockholm.
Speaking of the brutal attack at the Bataclan concert hall, police prefect Michel Cadot told the media, “The terrorists, the murderers raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places.”
Reuters quotes a Paris city hall official as saying there were four gunmen involved in the Bataclan concert hall attack during the performance by Eagles of Death Metal, and that they systematically killed at least 87 young people in the hall.
When anti-terrorist commandos eventually launched an assault on the concert hall, the gunmen reportedly detonated suicide explosive belts, killing many more. Police rescued many shocked survivors in the building, but bodies are still being removed Saturday morning.
Update: The video below shows people escaping from the back of the Bataclan concert hall moments after the attack began. Gunfire and screams can clearly be heard. People can be seen hanging from some of the windows and others are limping from injuries. Another man can be heard calling his friend repeatedly.
[Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment]