Ok, THIS show. This show is very special to me. It was a PRIVILEGE to shoot this. Below is what I wrote from exactly six years ago-
When we showed up, we had expected security to be SUPER tight and crazy but were really shocked that they were so lax, despite the number of security they had inside and out of this venue. This would be the first show I’d be shooting internationally, so I was really hoping there wouldn’t be a situation where they told me my name isn’t on the list, calling my editor internationally, and me having to convince them it is – in French, no less. Je pratique mon Francais. Luckily, all I had to do was find out where I had to go pick up the tickets and photo pass for myself, which ended up being around the block and down the street to a different address. It was a bit of a walk, and I started to wonder if they were just messing with me because I couldn’t find the place and began to think someone made a mistake or something, so after asking a few French Green Beret gentlemen, who were totally nice about it by the way, I ended up finding the building where I pick up my media passes, which happened to be the artist registration office. Not uncommon, but uncommon for it to be that far from the venue. So I walk back and enter the smoke-filled venue (Ugh, Europe, this is where we don’t hit it off), make my way to the floor, and try to find a good spot to shoot. To my dismay, there was no photo pit for photographers, and I’m short, so this is the part of the job that isn’t very glamourous. I decided to grab a balcony seat upfront and that ended up being the best decision.
To be at this show was VERY special. It’s partially the reason we planned a trip to Paris. We were finally here! At the show! The one where the survivors and the victims’ families of the attacks in November were. It was very surreal to be there when you realize how very REAL that was, if that makes sense. To my left, someone with heavy bandages around their shoulder, proudly wearing an EODM shirt. To my right, someone in a wheelchair, also wearing their favorite EODM shirt, completely ecstatic to be there. In front of me, someone in crutches, waving one of them in the air, hollering and cheering. I had SO many mixed emotions. I had a heavy heart, yet a full one. So happy to see my friends play their show on their stage, to finish it for this crowd and their families. It was definitely my favorite Eagles of death Metal show I’ve ever attended and I hold it VERY close to my heart and always will.
Josh flew out for this show, even though he and Brody had their third child just three days prior to the show. The band played their classics, and then lead the entire house to an 89-second of silence for the fallen victims, including one of their own, Merch Manager, Nick Alexander. In the middle of the set, Jesse got angry with one of his guitars continuously falling out of tune so he did what any artist does with faulty tools: SMASH TO THE FLOOR! For their encore, Jesse came out with a French flag-painted guitar and held it up high right before they played their amazing cover of Brown Sugar. Then of course, to end the evening, they played the most epic version of Speaking in Tongues I’ve ever seen. During the dueling solos between Jesse and Dave, Jesse ran off stage and appeared behind everyone on the balcony. AWESOME! What a great show, I’m not only grateful to have been granted permission to shoot it, but to just be in the same room with the attending survivors who didn’t lose their love and spirit was special.
After the show, we went backstage to say hi to our buddies and surprise them that we actually came all the way to Paris to see them. Eric, Dave, Eden, and Jesse were STOKED to see us. Jesse invited us to his hotel room for an after-after party, but we never made it for whatever reason I can’t recall. It was a fun little reunion. I don’t remember much after that. I think we were at a bar around the corner with the Sinners til 4am or so. We had a plane to Barcelona to catch in the next few hours.
If you’re interested in an in-depth look about this, Colin Hanks directed the documentary, Nos Amis. It’s worth a watch. I’ve known Jesse, Dave, and Eden for over a decade. There was no way I wouldn’t be at this show to support and document.