The Killers booed by crowd in Georgia after Russian "brother" comments

Batumi, Georgia - The Killers apologized on Wednesday after the band invited a Russian fan on stage during a concert in the Republic of Georgia, drawing boos from the crowd.

The Killers apologized after telling a Georgian crowd that a Russian fan was their brother, sparking boos from the audience.
The Killers apologized after telling a Georgian crowd that a Russian fan was their brother, sparking boos from the audience.  © Ekaterina Pirogova via REUTERS

Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Georgia has hosted thousands of Russians fleeing mobilization and a crackdown on dissent back home, leading to tensions in the Caucasus country.

Moscow and Tbilisi went to war in 2008 and a fifth of Georgian territory has been occupied by Russian-backed separatists since.

In a video posted on social media, The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers can be seen inviting a fan on stage during a concert at an arena on Georgia's Black Sea coast.

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"This guy is a Russian. Are you okay with a Russian coming up here?," Flowers asks, prompting crowd members to respond with boos. "You can't recognize if someone's your brother?" he then asks.

Local media said some audience members left during the concert, which took place on Tuesday.

Killers backtrack after furious response

Frontman Brandon Flowers invited a Russian fan on stage during the concert in Georgia.
Frontman Brandon Flowers invited a Russian fan on stage during the concert in Georgia.  © OLI SCARFF / AFP

"Good people of Georgia, it was never our intention to offend anyone!," The Killers said in a post on social media Wednesday.

"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 apologize," the band said.

Organizers at the Black Sea Arena, where the concert was held, also apologized.

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"We understand the emotions of our guests," it said in comments after the show. "The act of the artist on the stage is not the position of Black Sea Arena," it added.

The Georgian rock band LOUDspeakers, which played at the same concert as a warm-up act, said it was "disappointed" after the incident.

"Russia is an enemy and an occupier!," the band said in a post on social media.

Cover photo: Ekaterina Pirogova via REUTERS

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