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Sharing the stage with Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers

Utahn is a backup singer on Flowers' tour

By Kevin McGrath

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Nov. 11 2010 7:13 p.m. MST

Rachel Kaiser, who grew up in Orem, has enjoyed every minute of her stint as a backup singer on Brandon Flowers' solo tour.

Lars Lindstrom

For Rachel Kaiser, it was the surprise of a lifetime.

Four days before Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, began a solo tour, Kaiser learned she would be joining the tour as a backup singer.

"They called me at 1 on Tuesday and by 1:30 I was on the road to Las Vegas to audition," said Kaiser, whose name had been passed on to Flowers' manager.

"After I auditioned they told me right away that I made it. Then, after I freaked out a little bit, they told me I wouldn't even have time to go back home and get any of my stuff."

Despite the rushed job offer, she embraced the opportunity — and has enjoyed every minute. Kaiser, who is from Orem, will perform in her home state when Flowers' tour stops at the Depot in Salt Lake City on Nov. 17.

"It's been amazing and such a great learning experience as a musician," Kaiser said. "Brandon is brilliant, his lyrics and everything else I just admire so much."

While on tour, Kaiser quickly discovered she and Flowers share more in common than just music.

"One of the first things he talked to me about was the fact we are both LDS," she said. "I think it was a way to break the ice."

Kaiser has been grateful for the high standards Flowers and others set. She has not been confronted with the partying, drugs and alcohol that often accompany musicians on tour.

Kaiser hopes the exposure from singing in front of millions while touring across Europe and performing on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno will draw more attention to her own band, The Neighbors.

Formed just more than a year ago, The Neighbors is made up of Rachel and her brother Adam. The brother-and-sister duo manages to switch effortlessly between vocals, keyboards, drums and bass.

While on a two-week break from the Flowers tour, the Kaisers took advantage of the time together by performing for friends and fans in Utah, Idaho and California.

Even though the siblings have been busy with separate side projects, they are eager to move forward with their own group.

"After the tour with Brandon is finished we are going to have our EP ready, and hopefully set up some meetings to get onto a label," Adam Kaiser said. "That's the real goal, to make music a career."

Rachel and Adam's own musical inspiration comes from their older sister, Sarah Blanchet, who originally convinced the two to develop their talents as self-taught musicians. The three formed a group called ByNow, which dissolved after Blanchet got married and started a family.

Having been there from the beginning, Blanchet has seen her siblings grow as musicians and people.

"When I was in a band with them I never got to sit back and see what they were like, but now that I have been to their shows and watched their DVDs I can see that they are just such amazing musicians," Blanchet said. "Even not talking about their music, Adam and Rachel are just two of the nicest people. They are my younger brother and sister but I still really admire them."

More music and information on Rachel and Adam Kaiser's band can be found at www.theneighbors-hood.com.

e-mail: kmcgrath@desnews.com

What: Brandon Flowers

Where: The Depot

When: Nov. 17, 8 p.m.

How much: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Phone: 801-467-8499 or 800-888-8499

Web: www.smithstix.com

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