I’ve found myself checking endless news sites all night, watching the horror story unfolding in Paris, trying to get some context as to the scope of what happened at Bataclan.
The Eagles of Death Metal were playing to an at-capacity crowd of 1500 people. The latest reports I read confirmed that 100+ people died, which is absolutely sickening, in its own right, but… How big is a 1500 person venue?
Verizon Arena holds between 15,000 and 18,000 people (depending on stage configuration).
Venues in the 1200-1500 person range include House of Blues in Dallas and Houston, Stubbs in Austin, Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, and Minglewood Hall in Memphis. Like those venues, Bataclan is typically general admission.
That is SO MUCH SMALLER than what I was imagining when the news was breaking.
I’ve been to several sold-out shows at both Cain’s and Minglewood. People are generally smashed together so tightly, shifting foot position takes strategic planning. I keep trying to wrap my head around what happened; when I try to scale it down to the size of those clubs, it absolutely shakes me to the core. Automatic weapons, suicide bombs, hostages, mass casualties…
It’s 6am, and I am completely unable to sleep. I’ve been looking forward to the Shinedown/Breaking Benjamin/Sevendust show tonight at Verizon Arena for months. Right now, though, I’m totally numb.