Arts Desk

Protect-U Robbed In Paris, May Cancel Remaining Europe Tour Dates

D.C. house duo Protect-U was robbed of all its gear at a show in Paris last night. Early this morning, band member (and City Paper contributor) Aaron Leitko posted on Facebook that the band had lost its entire rig, including two laptops, a FireWire box, synthesizers, and effects. Their EuroRail (or Eurail) passes were also stolen.

He says he and bandmate Mike Petillo aren't sure what they're going to do next, but it looks like the rest of their European tour is in jeopardy. The band was scheduled to play four more dates, wrapping up Nov. 10 at Robert Johnson in Frankfurt, Germany. (Disclosure: I'm friends with both Leitko and Petillo.) Here's Leitko's account of what happened:

[W]e were performing at a Paris club called le pompon. After the set, we packed up and were told to place out [sic] gear in a back room next to the bar. The back room had a door in it that lead out to a basement. Because the club was crowded, we stood guard by the door by the bar to make sure nobody was going in.

But someone found their way in and, Leitko suspects, jacked their stuff, then used a back door to exit into the street. "I think tour is pretty much kiboshed at this point," he writes via email.

The duo has posted a list on Facebook of everything that was taken. A friend of the band says she is considering starting a PayPal account for friends, family, and fans to make donations to help Leitko and Petillo recoup their losses and return to D.C. Update: Friends of the band launched an Indiegogo fundraiser page for Protect-U yesterday, with a goal of $1,500. It met that goal in only a few hours. The unofficial goal, however, is $5,000—the estimated value of the equipment that was stolen. As of 10:30 a.m. on Friday, contributions approach $3,000.

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