Rock star Brandon Flowers has said that he faced an “impossible situation” during a recent concert in Georgia, in which the crowd turned on the band for inviting a Russian fan on stage to play drums.
The Killers were playing at the Black Sea Arena in Batumi this month when Flowers spotted a fan with a sign reading “If destiny is kind, I’ll be your drummer tonight.” Flowers invited the fan on stage, and upon learning he was from Russia, asked the crowd “are you OK with a Russian coming up here? I’m alright with it.”
The crowd responded with boos and jeers, which grew in intensity after Flowers told them that all The Killers fans are “brothers and sisters.” When their set was finished, the band left the stage without saying goodbye.
“I had to calm an impossible situation,” Flowers told The Times on Saturday. “We want our concerts to be communal and I had no idea words I was taught my entire life to represent a unity of the human family could be taken as being pro-Russian occupation. We’re sad how this played out.”
The band issued an apology to the crowd after the show. “We recognize that a comment, meant to suggest that all of the Killers’ audience and fans are ‘brothers and sisters’ could be misconstrued,” it read. “We did not mean to upset anyone and we apologize. We stand with you and hope to return soon.”
A former Soviet republic, Georgia is split between those who view Russia as an “aggressor” after the 2008 war over South Ossetia and Abkhazia – and side with Ukraine and NATO in the current conflict – and those who want to maintain their cultural and economic ties with Russia.