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regular-article-logo Thursday, 22 February 2024

Georgia: The Killers say sorry after Russian fan controversy

The US alt-rock band let a Russian drummer on stage during a concert in Georgia, leading to boos from the audience. The ex-Soviet state fought a war against Russia in 2008, with many Georgians disapproving of Moscow

Deutsche Welle Published 17.08.23, 11:10 AM
The Killers are currently on tour in Europe

The Killers are currently on tour in Europe Deutsche Welle

US rock group The Killers apologized on Wednesday after the group invited a Russian drummer on stage during a concert in Georgia.

The incident occurred on Tuesday during a gig close to the Black Sea city of Batumi.

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What happened at the concert?

"This guy is a Russian. Are you okay with a Russian coming up here?" The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers said to the audience while bringing the fan onstage. The gesture elicited loud boos from the crowd, with video footage showing some attendees even raising their middle finger.

"You can't recognize if someone's your brother?" Flowers then said to angered concertgoers.

The Killers invited the Russian fan to play drums on the song 'For Reasons Unknown,' but this drew backlash from the Georgian audience

The Killers invited the Russian fan to play drums on the song 'For Reasons Unknown,' but this drew backlash from the Georgian audience Deutsche Welle

Georgian media reported that the incident led to some audience members leaving the performance in disgust.

Georgia, an ex-Soviet country, previously fought a war against Russia in 2008. Many Georgians also stand in solidarity with Ukraine, after Russia invaded its neighbor last year.

A report released by US nonprofit International Republican Institute in March 2022 found that 90% of Georgians view Russia as the greatest political threat to the Caucasus country.

'It was never our intention to offend anyone!'

The Killers later apologized to fans on social media.

"Good people of Georgia, it was never our intention to offend anyone!" The Killers said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

"We recognize that a comment, meant to suggest that all of The Killers' audience and fans are 'brothers and sisters' could be misconstrued," the band added. "We did not mean to upset anyone and we apologize."

Concert organisers at the Black Sea Arena where the performance was held also said sorry.

"The act of the artist on the stage is not the position of Black Sea Arena," the organizers said in a statement.

The Killers started in Las Vegas in 2001 and have since become one of the most successful rock acts worldwide. The group, known for hits such as "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me," has exceeded 28 million in global record sales.

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