The Killers – who were headlining the event that earlier in the night saw Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme kick a photographer in the face – made an on-stage pledge to say photographers were "welcome" and "respected." But one of the band's own rules for live gigs contradicts this very statement, and many live music photographers are not happy.
In the wake of The Killers vocalist Brandon Flowers making a pledge that photographers are welcome at gigs, it’s emerged they are among the acts that, more often than not, only permit their own tour photographer to photograph their live sets.
The band was performing at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas in LA, shortly after the incident involving Chelsea Lauren being kicked in the face, when Flowers invited his band’s house photographer Rob Loud on stage, proclaiming, “I’m not going to kick you in the face, it’s ok.” He continued, “I just want to tell you to tell all your friends that you’re welcome here.”
However, many of the press and photographers in attendance weren’t impressed with the display, having been banned from shooting the set. Allegedly, the band occasionally allow a Getty photographer to take some images but usually permit only their in-house photographer. According to Billboard, The Killers prefer photos taken from the back and side of the stage, rather than the pit, as these images showcase the audience and special effects. Live 105’s Marketing and Promotions Director Brandon Paski confirmed to all photographers shooting the event that The Killers “DO NOT allow any photographers,” and would be providing their own images to publications where needed.
And it’s causing problems for event photographers. Paul Hebert, who was shooting this year’s KROQ concert, said: “[Brandon Flowers] was the only artist that weekend that doesn’t allow himself to be photographed.” He later added that he had a hard time selling his photos from the event to publications – since they didn’t feature the headliner.
Lead image credit: Josh Sorenson.