On Saturday night, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame officially welcomed their 2018 induction class at a lavish ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall. As always, the night was filled with star-studded performances celebrating the evening’s guests of honor. This year, the Rock Hall inducted Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, The Cars, and Nina Simone in addition to “Early Influencer” Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The Killers‘ frontman Brandon Flowers was perviously tapped to give the induction speech for The Cars, one of his biggest early influences. However, he wound up playing a much bigger role in the show than expected, as The Killers opened the ceremony with an un-scheduled performance of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers‘ “American Girl” (complete with “Free Fallin'” vocal quotes) in honor of the recently-departed rock legend, who himself was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
As Flowers told Rolling Stone, “To pay tribute to Tom Petty who has just done nothing but enrich our lives, and then for me to get to induct the Cars into the Hall of Fame, I mean, this is a hell of a night for me. People don’t realize how New Wave Tom Petty was. You don’t associate him with that movement at all, but a lot of those videos, and even some of the sentiments in the songs and the way that they’re presented were very New Wave. And then he obviously evolved, which, he was so great at that.”
Below, you can watch The Killers’ show-opening tribute to Tom Petty at the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony below:
The Killers – “American Girl” (Tom Petty cover) – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction
The Killers are set to headline a number of large-scale festivals this summer, including Boston Calling, BottleRock, Bonnaroo, and Firefly. For a full list of The Killers’ upcoming tour dates, hit the band’s website.
[H/T Rolling Stone]