An Atlanta drummer was onstage with the band Eagles of Death Metal when gunmen entered the Bataclan concert venue.
Julian Dorio, an Atlanta native and University of Georgia graduate, and the other band members were able to escape the venue as chaos unfolded inside.
“They saw a man with a machine gun just opening fire,” said Michael Dorio, who spoke with his brother by phone around 5:30 p.m. Atlanta time, soon after the attacks began.
Julian Dorio, 33, told his brother the band hit the floor when they spotted the gunmen then scurried out a backstage door. None of them was harmed, according to Michael Dorio.
“They heard more than they could see because of the stage lights,” he said.
Once on the streets they ran until spotting a police station, where they went inside. From there, Julian Dorio, using a borrowed phone, called his parents and brother in Atlanta.
“There were some anxious moments,” said Michael Dorio, who first learned of the attacks when friends began texting him asking about his brother’s safety.
His brother sounded shaken but thankful, he said.
“I could tell he was uneasy,” Michael Dorio said.
Julian Dorio is not a full-time member of Eagles of Death Metal but was invited to join them on a European tour that began in England on Halloween.
Band management announced Saturday they were canceling the rest of the tour but plans to return to France, according to a Agence France Presse report.
Eagles of Death Metal, the California rockers whose concert in Paris turned into a massacre, will cut short a European tour and return home, promoters said Saturday.
The band was due to play Saturday night in Tourcoing in northern France before a show the following day in Brussels.