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Killers' Flowers Joins Springsteen Onstage for "Thunder Road"

June 1, 2009 4:53 PM ET

At this weekend's Pinkpop festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands, Saturday night headliner Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were joined by the Killers' Brandon Flowers on the band's classic "Thunder Road," Stereogum reports. The Killers played the main stage right before Springsteen's headlining set, which set the scene for the collaboration, and while the sound on Flowers' microphone seems to be well below normal levels, it's still cool to see Flowers, who had been heavily influenced by Springsteen, get to rock alongside the Jersey legend and belt some verses from the Born To Run track. Flowers hails from Las Vegas, Springsteen has a song called "Atlantic City," it's like this union was fated.

The Killers famously announced they were channeling deeper inspirations on their second album Sam's Town and were then heavily criticized for adopting many of Springsteen's signature sounds ("the Las Vegas party boys ditch their cheerfully fake Bowie moves and try to get heavy by copying Bruce Springsteen," Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield wrote in his Sam's Town review). When Flowers spoke to RS' Brian Hiatt for a recent feature, he revealed he'd recently had a brush with Bruce backstage at an L.A. arena: "I was scared to death, with all the dust that was kicked up about Sam's Town," Flowers told us. "And he just eased my mind and gave me such a boost of confidence. He was way nicer than he needed to be. He talked about how undeniable the first record was. And I brought up my concerns about it all, and, you know, he said he dealt with the same thing with Bob Dylan."

According to Springsteen fansite Backstreets, other highlights of Bruce's Pinkpop set included the live debut of the song "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)," which was played after a member of the audience held a sign requesting the track. Also, a woman in the crowd holding a sign that said "The Dutch Courteney Cox" was invited to dance on stage with Bruce during "Dancing in the Dark," paying homage to Cox's role in the video for that song.

This isn't the first time Springsteen has called upon the Bruce-inspired new class to join him onstage: in October 2007, the Arcade Fire joined E Streeters for a performance of Nebraska's "State Trooper," marking the first time in more than 20 years Springsteen had tackled the song live. Springsteen will have ample opportunity to make more rockers' dreams come true when he headlines both the Bonnaroo festival on June 13th and the U.K.'s Glastonbury festival on June 27th.

Here's another video of the performance:

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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