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Watch the Killers Honor Lou Reed’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes’

killers, pale blue eyes, velvet underground, lou reed

The Killers have paid tribute to the late, great Lou Reed. At their Las Vegas hometown’s first annual Life Is Beautiful Festival on October 27, the coversprone four took a pause from their usual bombast to play a tender, low-key version of “Pale Blue Eyes,” an understated classic from the Velvet Underground’s 1969 self-titled third album (and a personal favorite of Patti Smith). The fan-shot footage seen above doesn’t offer a close-up of frontman Brandon Flowers, but the audio comes through clearly, along with the sentiment.

The Killers and Reed collaborated previously, teaming up for “Tranquilize,” a single taken from the glammy band’s 2007 Sawdust compilation. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (via Consequence of Sound), after closing “Pale Blue Eyes,” Flowers told the audience he was “trying to rip off” Reed’s landmark Transformer LP when he wrote 2004’s “All These Things That I’ve Done.” The Killers leader explained, “It all went horribly wrong and became this damn song.”

Watch the video above, and be sure to check out covers of Lou Reed’s songs by Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, and Twin Shadow. And read the following SPIN exclusives on Reed and his legacy: