One year on from a terrorist attack at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, France, Sting helped re-open the music venue with a sombre and emotional concert on Saturday.
Indie rock band Eagles of Death Metal were in the middle of a sold-out gig at the venue on Nov. 13 last year when terrorists stormed the theater, taking concertgoers hostage and killing 89 people, including the group’s merchandise manager Nick Alexander.
“In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile,” Sting told the crowd in French, later writing in English on his Instagram page. “First, to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theater represents. In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life-affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them.”
The special concert took place on the eve of the first anniversary of the horrific attack.
In between performing tracks from his new album, 57th & 9th, the 65-year-old music icon recited the words, “We will never forget,” in French.
While reports have surfaced that two members of Eagles of Death Metal, including controversial frontman Jesse Hughes, were kicked out of the venue during the concert, the band’s management have denied the claims.
Mark Pollack of The MGMT Company told Billboard that Hughes’ time in Paris was about “recalling the tragic loss of life that happened right in front of his eyes during his show,” with friends, family and fans.
“Jesse never even tried entering the club for Sting’s show tonight,” Pollack added.
See more on the Paris terrorist attacks in the video below.