The Killers have apologised for bringing a Russian fan on stage to play drums during their concert in Georgia on Tuesday night.
Towards the end of their gig at the Black Sea Arena in the former Soviet state, frontman Brandon Flowers invited a Russian man to play the drums on their song For Reasons Unknown, prompting boos and walkouts from members of the audience.
The group later took to social media to apologise for offending anyone by urging the crowd to treat the Russian fan as their “brother”.
“Good people of Georgia, it was never our intention to offend anyone!” they began. “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.
“We recognize 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.”
In fan footage from the show, Brandon acknowledged that they “didn’t know the etiquette of this land” and asked if it was OK to let the Russian fan perform, prompting a mixture of cheers and boos.
He was booed again when he addressed the situation after the song by 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?”
He urged the audience to celebrate being there together and added, “I don’t want it to turn ugly. And I see you as my brothers and my sisters.”
Georgia gained independence from Russia in 1991 and had has a strained relationship with the country for centuries. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and still occupies territories within it.
– Cover Media