The Black Keys + the Arcs’ Dan Auerbach Gives First-Hand Account of Paris Attacks
The Arcs -- the project featuring the Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach -- played a show at Le Trianon in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13, just a few miles from Le Bataclan, the venue where Eagles of Death Metal were performing when gunmen stormed the theater, taking the lives of 87 people. Auerbach has now recounted his experience that night.
The Arcs had completed their set when they began hearing sirens and commotion outside and rumors of what happened at Eagles of Death Metal’s Le Bataclan concert. Le Trianon was put on lockdown. “We were hunkered down listening for gunshots,” Auerbach told Rolling Stone. “We had people guarding all the doors, which were all locked up. We saw the helicopters flying above us; police cars just screaming by.”
Auerbach reached out to Eagles of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, who wasn’t touring Europe with his band and wasn’t present for their Bataclan concert. “I texted Josh Homme and I said, ‘Are you alright?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’m in L.A. Why?’” Auerbach recounted. “I said, ‘Oh thank God, I just heard a horrible story.’ Then it turned out to be true.”
Since the attacks, one of the victims at the Eagles of Death Metal concert has been revealed as Nick Alexander, a crew member for EODM who has worked with several bands, including the Black Keys. “Nick Alexander, one of the victims, was our merch guy,” Auerbach said. “Nick was just a really nice guy. He was just an absolute rock & roll guy. He lived for it. Selling merch is a really, really tough job. He was one of the first ones in, last ones out.”
Auerbach and his Arcs bandmates made it out of the country safely despite France declaring a state of emergency and closing its borders.
“I’ve woken up feeling very out of sorts,” Auerbach said. “Why the hell did it happen there and not where we were playing? I’m just so brokenhearted about all those people.”