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Bands Cancel Tours After Attacks in Paris

Courtesy of the Alexander family

Bands Cancel Tours After Attacks in Paris

When terrorists attacked Paris Friday, Nov. 13, Le Bataclan theater was hit the hardest, with more than 80 people killed and hundreds injured. The crowd of more than 1,000 gathered for a performance by the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal, who were onstage when the attacks began.

Drummer Julian Dorio told his brother that the band members and their onstage crew saw the gunmen open fire and were able to escape the building safely through a back entrance, but Nick Alexander, a crew member who had been selling the band's merchandise at the rear of the venue, was killed.

Alexander had worked as a merchandise manager with several bands, including the Black Keys. Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney told Rolling Stone magazine that Alexander “was a really organized, superhard worker, really funny. I remember him always very content with being on tour. It was what (seemed) to make him the happiest. After shows, when everyone would go wild or whatever, he would also be really reserved. He was just a sweetheart, that guy.” A memorial fund to benefit Alexander’s family has raised more than $78,000 to date.

In the aftermath of Friday's attack, the Eagles of Death Metal issued a short statement: “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.” On Sunday, they were seen leaving their Paris hotel. The band has canceled the remainder of its tour and is returning to the U.S.

A group of Eagles of Death Metal fans have set up a campaign to boost the band’s current single, a cover of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer,” to No. 1 on the U.K. pop charts, “to show solidarity against terrorism and support for peace.” Other fans and fellow musicians called in their support to Rancho de la Luna, a Joshua Tree, California, sound studio where the band records.

Opening for Eagles of Death Metal Friday was White Miles, a blues-rock duo hailing from Austria. They, too, escaped unharmed; the duo posted a statement on Facebook saying that they “are overwhelmed by your sympathy and wanted to thank you all for your messages and care! At the moment we are on our way back to Austria to see our families and friends; we still cannot grasp what happened in Paris.” Also at Le Bataclan Friday was American alternative metal band Deftones, who were scheduled to perform there the following day. They had left the building just minutes before the attack began and reported later that, though unharmed, they, too, will cancel the remaining dates on their tour. They also called for “prayers for those affected in these tragic events.”