I've said a few things about the attacks in Paris, and those have shed light on attacks all over the world. Terrorism is something that unfortunately transcends culture. It's something that has happened in Beirut, Lebanon, Syria, the United States and France. It is senseless violence inflicted at the most base level of evil. It's abhorrent.
This is probably one of the hardest things I'll have to write. I can't help but feel speechless, but for the sake of people who are feeling similarly, I'll have to spell out my thoughts, for fear of losing the importance of talking about them. Though how I feel may not be important, I'm on the verge of tears, just thinking about what has happened. So forgive me if this appears to be emotional.
I've attended and performed hundreds of concerts in my lifetime. And at 22, I could have been at this concert...the concert that was attacked by the heartless bastards known as ISIS. An international fear mongering group that decided to slaughter innocents. It's a hard pill to swallow: it could have been me. It's devastating. Thinking of all the poor fans, like me, who just wanted to escape. I bet they looked forward to that show for months.
The attack on the Bataclan concert hall was a devastating blow to music fans. Those who worship at the alter of sound have an almost church like devotion to the bands they respect. Countless times I have taken to this site, talking about how music has saved my life, changed my existence and led me to become the person I am.
The fans who became victims of the attacks at the Bataclan during the Eagles of Death Metal concert will never get that chance.
The attack on this concert venue rocked the world, but it rocked music fans in particular. We have a connection to concerts that draws us from our daily lives and propels us into another dimension. Concerts are our escape, creating an environment that is transcendent. It's our escape. Music is our religion, and the bands we support are our profits.The disgusting people who attacked innocent music fans had to have known the deep impact music has on people.
Recently, an eyewitness account from a fan just like me went viral. A disturbing photo of a cute white shirt, splattered with blood is circulating on facebook, the accompanying statement chilled me to my core, and made me realize the deep impact that this event has on humanity, and music fans:
"you never think it will happen to you. It was just a friday night at a rock show. the atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling. and then when the men came through the front entrance and began the shooting, we naiively believed it was all part of the show. It wasn't just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre. Dozens of people were shot right infront of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. in an instant. Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless.. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry - not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn't. The people who had been there for the exact same reasons as I - to have a fun friday night were innocent. This world is cruel. And acts like this are suppose to highlight the depravity of humans and the images of those men circuling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they meticoulsy aimed at shot people around the standing area i was in the centre of without any consideration for human life. It didn't feel real. i expected any moment for someone to say it was just a nightmare. But being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes. To the man who reassured me and put his life on line to try and cover my brain whilst i whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy i loved was dead, to the injured man who i had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself, to the woman who opened her doors to the survivors, to the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so i wouldnt have to wear this blood stained top, to all of you who have sent caring messages of support - you make me believe this world has the potential to be better. to never let this happen again. but most of this is to the 80 people who were murdered inside that venue, who weren't as lucky, who didnt get to wake up today and to all the pain that their friends and families are going through. I am so sorry. There's nothing that will fix the pain. I feel priviledged to be there for their last breaths. And truly beliving that I would join them, I promise that their last thoughts were not on the animals who caused all this. It was thinking of the people they loved. As i lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered I love you. over and over again. reflecting on the highlights of my life. Wishing that those i love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, to keep belieivng in the good in people. to not let those men win. Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. to live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil. RIP angels. You will never be forgotten."
The girl, Isabella Bowdrey posted this after the attacks. She is the same age as me. She is a music fan. She is a person. She's never going to forget what happened.
Musicians, fans and the music world become family. Music journalists, performers and those who consume the music all share a specific bond. The music drives us in every way. It is our fuel, it is our love, it is our everything. This was an attack on the purest thing we know. If you lose your faith in music, you have nothing. We haven't lost it. We have to use it to continue on.
As I sit in my room writing this, a chill comes over me. I look in the mirror and think, "It could have been me, or my friends. It could have been at one of my concerts." Horrific violence like this touches the darkest corners of humanity, and where light once stood it attempts to take what makes things bright. I tried to write a song, but kept feeling my fingers slip on the guitar strings.
I thought about Beirut. I thought about Syria. I thought about Kenya and the Middle East. I thought of the people who have been slaughtered for no reason all across the world.
I thought about my family and friends. I thought about the nights I spent happy as ever at concerts. I thought about skipping school to see our favorite bands. I thought about youth, innocence.
I said a silent prayer to anyone who was listening, "Protect music fans. No, protect everyone. Protect this world. Let us find peace. Please."
I thought about the countless people around the world who have been affected. And as I prepare to play a small concert of my own this week...I'll be thankful for the music. I'll savor every minute, because in the face of adversity and of sheer terror and sadness, we have to look for something to help us through.
Music fans will remember the Bataclan forever. Whether you were there or not, you will think of those effected. Music fans have a way of supporting each other.
Each person who has the opportunity to grace the stage and share their music with like-minded people will breathe an extra breath for those who are no longer around to hear it. Because the music will live forever no matter who tries to tear it down.