UPDATE: Currently all Paris concert halls, movie theaters and public spaces have been shut down by the French government until further notice.
The band U2 was minutes away from the shootings in Paris Friday night (Nov. 13) during which dozens were wounded and killed in a coordinated attack.
Frontman Bono was seen rehearsing earlier in the day at AccorHotels Arena, 2.8 miles away from the concert hall Bataclan where a gunman opened fire during a concert by American band Eagles of Death Metal. A Facebook post was published just as a terror spree spread across multiple locations. The band members — guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. — and crew were promptly moved into lockdown and are safe at accommodations nearby, according to insiders.
U2 is in town to perform Saturday and Sunday at AccorHotels Arena, the former set to be broadcast live on HBO. That show has since been canceled. U2 visited Le Bataclan after the shootings to leave flowers on the makeshift memorial.
At the Eagles of Death Metal show, eyewitnesses described a scene of utter chaos. As one concert-goer told Le Figaro: “I was on the right in the hall of Bataclan, a song by Eagles of Death Metal was going to end, when I hear noises like exploding firecrackers, I see the singer removed his guitar, I turn I see a guy armed with an automatic weapon that shoots into the air. Everyone folds to the floor. From there, it is the instinct that takes over in each burst, we try to crawl as far as possible shooters.”
French President François Hollande has declared a state of emergency; its borders are closed in the midst of a series of attacks.
Update: The band posted a statement to its official website at 9:30 p.m. EST. It reads as follows:
As a result of the ongoing state of emergency across France, the U2 Paris concert scheduled for 14th November will not be going ahead as planned. U2 and Live Nation, along with HBO who were due to live broadcast the Saturday concert, are fully resolved to go ahead with this show at an appropriate time.
Speaking from Paris the band said:
“We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight.
We are devastated at the loss of life at the Eagles of Death Metal concert and our thoughts and prayers are with the band and their fans.
And we hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe.”