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Eagles Of Death Metal Finish Concert Cut Short By Paris Attacks

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Eagles Of Death Metal Finish Concert Cut Short By Paris Attacks

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Eagles Of Death Metal Finish Concert Cut Short By Paris Attacks

Eagles Of Death Metal Finish Concert Cut Short By Paris Attacks

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Members of the U.S. heavy metal band who survived the Paris massacre made a return visit to the city. For many, attending the rescheduled show was the only way to try moving past the trauma.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The attacks in Paris left 130 people dead. Most died in a concert hall, the Bataclan, listening to an American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Paris a few days later, I sat down with a survivor - a young woman named Naomi Carrera (ph) who was at the concert when attackers stormed in.

NAOMI CARRERA: I called my mom. I said, mom, something weird is happening right now. There's shootings. So I went to the balcony, and I saw the dead people. I said, mom, if those are my last words, I just love you. And she said, don't panic.

MONTAGNE: Three months have passed now, and last night, Eagles of Death Metal finished the concert that had been so cruelly cut short. Reporter Jake Cigainero says the show was a celebration for survivors as much as a memorial for victims.

JAKE CIGAINERO, BYLINE: Introduced by a classic French love song to Paris about starting a new day, the four band members took the stage before a sold-out crowd of almost 1,800 people at the legendary Olympia theater.

(SOUNDBITE OF EAGLES OF DEATH METAL SONG, "I ONLY WANT YOU")

CIGAINERO: The audience raised their beers and danced to the group's head-banger, "I Only Want You." The group's frontman earlier told French television he felt a sacred duty to finish the set. For many concertgoers, attending the rescheduled show was the only way to try moving past the trauma of the massacre. Wilford Bonnet survived the Bataclan attack where 90 people died. He had shared a passion for rock 'n' roll with his father Emmanuel, and they had gone together to the November 13 concert. Emmanuel did not escape the terrorist gunfire that night.

WILFORD BONNET: I come here because I want to, you know, to finish what - you know, what started but what could not finish in the end. I want to leave this gig with my family and friends and also to pay homage to my father and to all the people who died that night.

CIGAINERO: Security was tight, with concertgoer passing three checkpoints. Armed police directed traffic and guarded the theater entrances. Emotions were electric. Psychologists were also on site to assist. Others who were not at the Bataclan came to show their support. Twenty-two-year-old Laura Marti said it was hard to go to the show, but that it was an act of defiance in the face of terrorism.

LAURA MARTI: Yes, we have to be strong, and we don't have to be - to have fear. We have to keep doing our lives and, you know, going to concerts, enjoying music with our friends and stuff. We don't have to be afraid.

CIGAINERO: The Bataclan has not yet reopened, but the owners have said they hope to host events before the end of the year. For NPR News, I'm Jake Cigainero in Paris.

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