The Killers apologized after booing lead singer Brandon Flowers He brought a Russian fan on stage at a concert in Georgia – the former Soviet country that Russia invaded in 2008 – and urged the audience to think of each other as “brothers and sisters”.
Towards the end of the concert, which took place on a Tuesday night in Batumi, Georgia, the band invited a guy to play drums with them during “For Reasons Unknown”.
“We don’t know the manners of this land but this guy is Russian,” Flowers can be heard telling the crowd, which responded with a mixture of cheers and boos. “Are you OK with Rossi coming here?”
After the song, Flowers addressed the incident to further boos from those present. “You can’t tell if one of them is your brother? Isn’t he your brother?” he asked. “We all part at the borders of our own country?… Am I not your brother from America?”
Flowers continued, urging the audience to celebrate “that we are here together.”
“I don’t want it to get ugly,” he said. “I see you my brothers and sisters.”
Several people reportedly left the stadium in protest, though according to the user’s concert database Setlist.fmThe Killers played until the end of their show.
Russia continued to occupy 20% of Georgian territory after its invasion in 2008. Since 2022 and the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, there has been an influx of Russians into Georgia, which gained independence from Soviet rule in 1991. Some Russians have faced a backlash at home. , including The arrival of Russian cruise ships is being chased.
“Good people of Georgia, it was never our intention to offend anyone!” The group later wrote in statement. “We have a long-standing tradition of inviting people to play the drums, and it seemed from the stage that the initial response from the audience indicated that they were fine with tonight’s audience participation.”
The band said that Flowers’ onstage comments “meant to imply that all audiences and fans of The Killers are ‘brothers and sisters'”, but they got the point. “can be misunderstood.”
They said “we stand with you and hope to be back soon”.
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”