U2 pay tribute to Paris victims but no Eagles of Death Metal

PARIS: Irish rock band U2 paid tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks on their return on Sunday to France, where two concerts had been cancelled following the shootings.

But Eagles of Death Metal did not make a rumoured appearance with U2.

The U2 Paris concerts were originally scheduled for Nov. 14 and 15, and were postponed after coordinated Islamic State attacks on the French capital killed 130 on Nov. 13.

The deadliest attack occurred at the Bataclan concert hall, where garage rock band Eagles of Death Metal had been playing, and it was rumoured that the Californians would show up at the AccorHotels Arena with U2.

"Vive La France", "Tonight we are all Parisians, ce soir nous sommes tous Parisiens", U2 frontman Bono told the crowd.

"If you love liberty then Paris is your hometown. We have a few words to speak on the loss you are feeling tonight, I guess grief is like a wound that never closes."

The names of the victims appeared in blue, white and red on the giant screen at the end of the concert.

Earlier, U2 had said on their website: "We're back in Paris and it's great to be here. Some people have been saying that Eagles of Death Metal will appear on stage with U2 tonight. This is not the case. We have another surprise guest planned for tonight's show."

Patti Smith briefly shared the stage with U2 singing "People Have the Power" in front of an ecstatic crowd at the end of the two-hour gig.

U2 has a second date in Paris on Monday, and Eagles of Death Metal could appear then.

Many fans commented that showing up at the concert was symbolic and an important way for Paris to move on from what happened just over three weeks ago while others said they were not scared.

With France in a state of emergency, there was a military presence on the streets walking around carrying machineguns and wearing uniforms, and police were also armed. But no incidents were reported.