A report out of Paris claiming that two Eagles of Death Metal members, including frontman Jesse Hughes, were forced to leave Sting’s concert at the Bataclan Saturday night (Nov. 12), has been denied by the band’s manager. The show marks the reopening of the club a year after the terrorist attack that killed 89 people. Eagles of Death Metal was the band playing at the venue last year, on Nov. 13, 2015, when the tragedy occurred.
In a statement to Billboard, Marc Pollack, of The MGMT Company, says that Hughes “never even tried entering the club for Sting’s show.” He further notes:
“This day is not about Jesse Hughes or Eagles of Death Metal. In fact, Jesse is in Paris to share in remembering the tragic events of a year ago with his friends, family and fans. This is about recalling the tragic loss of life that happened right in front of his eyes during his show, and this coward Jules Frutos feels the need to soil his own club’s reopening by spreading false tales to the press, and tainting a wonderful opportunity that could’ve been used to spread peace and love, to further spread mean spirited words of hate. Jesse never even tried entering the club for Sting’s show tonight.”
Frutos is the Bataclan co-director who reportedly told a reporter, “They came, I threw them out — there are things you can’t forgive,” according to AFP. Frutos’ criticism of Hughes relates to comments the Eagles of Death Metal frontman made insinuating that Bataclan’s security staff knew something terrible was going to happen that night in November 2015, claiming he heard several security guards did not show up for their shift. “He makes these incredibly false declarations every two months,” Frutos said. “It is madness, accusing our security of being complicit with the terrorists. Enough. Zero. This has to stop.”
So what really happened outside 50 Boulevard Voltaire? Hughes is indeed in Paris, at the invitation of the city’s mayor to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Paris attacks, sources confirm, with a plaque dedication ceremony, among other events, planned for Nov. 13. And he was seen outside the Bataclan in the car of a friend and with a security escort in tow. The Hollywood Reporter‘s own Paris correspondent says safety precautions for the Sting concert made it nearly impossible to gain entry without a ticket and, according to an insider, Hughes was fully aware and had no intention of attending. But he did, in fact, stop by to take in the scene, talk to gathered fans and reflect on the events of Nov. 13, 2015.
At the Saturday night concert at the Bataclan, a year after the deadly attack, Sting launched into his set honoring the victims with an opening statement followed by a moment of silence.
“We’ve got two important things to do tonight,” he said in French. “First, to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the attacks a year ago and to celebrate the life and the music of this historic venue.”