An hour into the rock concert, the atmosphere was frenetic. The band had just finished playing a number called Save A Prayer and — having told their raucous Parisian fans they loved them — they were launching into another favourite, Kiss The Devil.
How sickeningly ironic these song titles seem now. As the strobe lights flashed, silhouetting the Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Dorio raising his sticks and white-bearded guitarist Dave Catching thrashing out a riff, a volley of cracks rang out — so loud they cut right through the thrumming heavy metal music.
Many among the hip young crowd whooped and cheered, thinking it must be some zany pyrotechnical prank. Even when three men burst through the doors brandishing semi-automatic weapons and bristling with magazines of ammunition, some thought they were part of the spectacle.
Julian Dorio instinctively knew better. Though partially blinded by the stage lights, he cowered behind his drum kit. Two other band members also hurled themselves to the floor. Yet the guitarist stood stock still beside his microphone, as if paralysed by the enormity of the scene unfolding below him.