8:45 pm Friday 13th November 2015. I was watching German power metal band Helloween perform at the Hard Rock Hell festival in North Wales with another 1,500 – 2,000 like minded people. All having a good time with friends old and new. The day was winding down with a few more bands to follow. A lot of self inflicted sore heads were soon to be nursed ready for more of the same in 15 hours or so.
Meanwhile, 540 miles away at Le Bataclan in Paris, a similar number of people were watching The Eagles Of Death Metal, tragically 84 of those will never get to attend a concert again and the lives of the 1,400 will be changed forever, alongside thousands more family members and friends.
I’m not clever enough or political enough to claim to know the ins and outs, or offer a solution to prevent things like this happening in the future. I do know if the bombs had exploded at the Stade de France football stadium the current number of 129 fatalities would have been a whole lot higher.
The events of two days ago have hit home more than some other terrorist atrocities over recent years mainly because it’s something I like to do – go to concerts. It happened in a country I wasn’t in, it could have been New Zealand or France, I’d still have the same feelings regarding it. It’s not a venue I’ve even been to (even though my wife and I have seen Metallica in the stadium). It’s not even a band I really have any affinity with. It’s people who like me enjoyed going to concerts.
I drive for a living. Every once and a while when news comes on the radio about a crash with fatalities it sometimes makes you stop and think that one day it could be you.
I don’t think I’ll think twice about attending a show at any point in the future – or even seeing one in Paris if I get the chance – as soon as that seed is planted in any number of people then that when terrorists win.