The Killers apologise to Georgian fans after Russian "brother" comment during gig

16 August 2023, 10:58 | Updated: 16 August 2023, 11:01

The Killers's Brandon Flowers at Glastonbury Festival 2023
The Killers's Brandon Flowers at Glastonbury Festival 2023. Picture: Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty

By Jenny Mensah

Brandon Flowers and co were met with boos and walkouts at after inviting a Russian fan to drum onstage and calling him their "brother".

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The Killers have said sorry following a controversy at their Georgian gig.

Brandon Flowers and co were midway through their set at Black Sea Arena in Batumi, Georgia on Tuesday (15th August) when they invited a fan to drum to their For Reasons Unknown track.

In video footage which circulated online, the Mr. Brightside rocker prompted boos when he asked: "We don’t know the etiquette of this land but this guy’s a Russian. You OK with a Russian coming up here?”

After they played the track, the 42-year-old singer was booed again when he raised the subject a second time, saying: “You can’t recognise if someone’s your brother? He’s not your brother?

“We all separate on the borders of our countries? … Am I not your brother, being from America?”

Flowers then told the crowd "we're all in it together" adding: “I don’t want it to turn ugly. And I see you as my brothers and my sisters.”

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The indie rockers were met with criticism online as the footage surfaced, but they have since taken to social media to apologise to their fans.

Their statement began: "Good people of Georgia, it was never our intention to offend anyone!

"We have a longstanding tradition of inviting people to play drums and it seemed from the stage that the initial response from the crowd indicated that they were okay with tonight's audience participation member coming onstage with us."

The Las Vegas rockers continued: "We recognise that a comment, meant to suggest that all of the Killers' audience and fans are 'brothers and sisters' could be misconstrued. We did not mean to upset anyone and we apologise. We stand with you and hope to return soon."

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Meanwhile, The Killers are set to return to the UK and Ireland for dates which will see them headline Reading & Leeds Festival across August Bank Holiday Weekend before heading to Edinburgh's Royal Highland Centre Showgrounds on 29th August, Belfast's Boucher Road Playing Fields on 1st September and Electric Picnic Festival in Ireland on 3rd September.

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