American rock band The Killers walked off stage during a concert in Batumi on Monday evening, after much of the Georgian crowd took offense at the suggestion that they were “siblings” with Russians who are also fans of the group.
The band was playing at Black Sea Arena when lead singer Brandon Flowers spotted a fan with a sign. “If fate is kind, I’ll be your drummer tonight.” The Killers have a tradition of inviting an audience member to play a song with them, so Flowers agreed.
“This guy is Russian. Do you agree with the arrival of a Russian here? » Flowers can be heard saying in a video making the rounds on social media. “It’s okay with me.”
However, some audience members did not do so and began booing the group and shouting anti-Russian insults. A handful of them even left the arena in protest. After the song, Flowers tried to reason with the audience, telling them that all Killers fans were “siblings.” However, this only made things worse.
V Gruzii na concertu The Killers can take the podium with Ruska’s fanouška. Furthermore, the public has been informed of the current situation, there is no listening and concert. The Radio Tbilisi station is also present, but it does not have a study on the subject. pic.twitter.com/PTATDoxOzY
–Martin (@Qope87) August 15, 2023
“You want to separate people? Am I not your brother? Coming from America, am I not your brother? he pleaded. The group “brings people together,” he said, and he wanted to celebrate without it turning “ugly.”
“I consider you my brothers and sisters” » Flowers said, but the crowd continued to boo. The Killers eventually played the remainder of their set and left, seemingly without saying goodbye to the audience after the final song. Radio Tbilisi reportedly reacted to the incident by removing all of the band’s songs.
After the incident, some of the audience left in protest, others booed and, according to some people present at the concert, The Killers left the stage without saying goodbye to the audience. Video: Mariam Rigvava. https://t.co/Q8yBazB3A7pic.twitter.com/ZosbrTqy7H
– Mariam Nikuradze (@mari_nikuradze) August 15, 2023
The killers followed up with a apologiestelling the “good people of Georgia” they never intended to offend anyone and recognized that calling all fans brothers and sisters “could be misinterpreted.”
“We didn’t mean to upset anyone and we apologize for that.” the group said in a tweet. “We stand with you and hope to return soon.”
The former Caucasian Soviet republic is torn between those who see Russia as a country “aggressor” And “occupant” after the 2008 war in South Ossetia and Abkhazia – and alongside NATO and Ukraine in the current conflict – and those who wish to remain neutral and maintain economic and cultural ties with Russia. The US and EU have criticized Tbilisi for agreeing to resume commercial flights to Moscow in May. Activists, backed by Washington and Brussels, besieged Parliament in March and forced the government to abandon a bill requiring the registration of foreign agents they denounced as “Russian.”
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