The Killers have apologised after frontman Brandon Flowers was booed for inviting a Russian fan to play the drums on stage during a concert in Georgia.
The lead singer, 42, suggested the crowd were “brothers and sisters”, which was not well-received and prompted fans to walk out in protest before the end of the show in the Black Sea resort of Batumi on Tuesday.
Georgia has a long history with Russia, having gained independence in 1991 before Moscow’s forces invaded in 2008, and they continue to occupy two breakaway regions.
Tensions have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which prompted a number of Russians to emigrate to Georgia.
In a statement posted on Twitter after the performance, the Killers said: “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.
“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.”
The band reportedly invited the Russian fan on stage to help them perform 2006 track For Reasons Unknown.
In footage shared on social media, Flowers is heard saying: “We don’t know the etiquette of this land but this guy’s a Russian.
“You OK with a Russian coming up here?”
After the performance, which received substantial boos, Flowers addressed the issue saying: “You can’t recognise if someone’s your brother? He’s not your brother?
“Am I not your brother, being from America?”
He later added: “One of the things we have come to appreciate being in this band is it brings people together and tonight I want us to celebrate that we’re here together and I don’t want it to turn ugly.
“And I see you as my brothers and my sisters.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub