I’ve been racking my brain as to how I was going to start this editorial. I’ve been pacing back and forth, bouncing a tennis ball against my ceiling that I’m sure my neighbor did not appreciate, but hey, I at least tried to make it rhythmic. For those who know me well, there are very few times where I am lost for words, but, alas, here we are. Like many people, music has been an escape. It’s that tree house in your backyard that you go to and just drown in every guitar chord and dissect every lyric to get away from all the debris of the negativity that is spewed at daily. Music is an eject button, a vacation that you can access at a push of an app. I’ve attended, taken pictures at, and wrote about hundreds of concerts within pretty much every genre. Discounting the occasional fight, a concert is a place where a person can go with a collection of people and let their stress fall by the wayside in their own way of music worship.
On Friday, Nov. 13 (which is ominous enough), many concert goers went to see Eagles Of Death Metal, just like any other concert around the country. These past days, as the images from that night litter the media, you can see many of the crowd raising their hands with smiles on a normal Friday night. That’s until a nefarious act was done – a group of terrorists affiliated with ISIS opened fire within the Bataclan Concert Hall and then proceeded to execute many of the concert goers, leaving 89 people dead.
The question that rang through my mind is – do we really have a safe haven? They assaulted the music this time and attempted to dampen and degrade all that is good with it. God bless those fans and everybody who went to the show that night.
The one thing you have to understand about terrorism is that it’s fear based. The main goal is to paralyze and detract us from doing what we love and doing it well. If we are constantly looking over our shoulder, we can’t enjoy the present and everything that’s right with it. The night after the massacre, with images still in my mind, I took pictures at my first show in two weeks. It was in New York and it felt like home. This was a sold out Irving Plaza show for Parkway Drive, the first band I had taken pictures of a year ago. Life is kind of funny that way. I just remember it feeling like home. Fans chanting along with songs, pushing up the barricade to try to get closer, and crowd surfing. In a way, everything that was occurring was an active protest or a beautifully placed middle finger, declaring that evil cannot separate us from our music, and we weren’t even aware of it.
I’m no hero. I’m lucky and blessed to take pictures and write about my favorite bands as if they were journal entries. This community just wants our art to permeate throughout the world, to inspire the next artistic soul or capture a moment so that the next fan will discard their fear of missing out and experience their only form of music worship. Think about this – music is a medium where we can all listen to a song, gain something different from it and be together at the same time. Can you say that about many other mediums right now?
Although it looks like the world is erupting with discontent and vicious hate, with no signs of coming up from air, I ask to you not stop the music. Those at Batalan Concert Hall would not want you to. We don’t have fighter jets and bombs, but we have our resolve and we will always have the music.