Here’s How James Hetfield Reacted to Kirk Hammett’s Out-of-Tune Guitar at Recent Metallica Show

Even after reaching legendary status in their respective genre, a musician will never achieve absolute perfection. What this means is that a guitar player, for instance, will make mistakes at live shows, no matter how many years into their career. And yes, this also happens to Metallica. Fortunately, they have a team of people handling all this stuff and making sure that things go as smoothly as possible.

In a newly published fan-filmed video on YouTube through a channel named ATARAXIA, we can see how James Hetfield reacts when Kirk Hammett’s guitar is out of tune while the band was performing “The Day That Never Comes.” While there’s no exact info on when and where exactly this show took place, it’s obvious that it’s from this year.

According to their website, there have been five live performances so far, two of which are proper live performances, both taking place in Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena. And it was on the first of the two concerts that they played “The Day That Never Comes,” taking place on April 27. You can see how all that went in the clip below.


The errors do happen and that’s fine. However, some of the commenters pointed out that swapping guitars didn’t go as planned since, apparently, you could still notice that things were not in tune. One commenter wrote:

Well that just shows you that they are playing LIVE!! Mad respect for Metallica. But it’s possible someone is in trouble if they didn’t tune the guitar properly before handing it to him.

Another one was a bit more positive, explaining:

No big deal, shit happens. You’ll have a guitar that never ever goes out of tune, and then for whatever reason it just craps out on you at the worst time.

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Meanwhile, someone else commented:

Don’t blame Kirk for it, but his guitar guy. They have special people hired for this.

And another commenter pointed out that, perhaps, it wasn’t Kirk’s guitar that caused the issue:

“Since both the guitars kirk played were ‘out of tune’ compared to James guitar, maybe it was James’ guitar that was out of tune🧐

Metallica: Sleepwalk My Life Away (Amsterdam, Netherlands - April 27, 2023)

One user recalled more details from this show, including the particular guitar-swapping occasion, offering:

“I was there, and this happened when James was right in front of me. This was in the first night at the Amsterdam show. James thought his guitar was out of tune — and so did I. I saw him talk into the mike and thought he had said ‘My guitar is out of tune.’ On the second night when James picked up that same Explorer he double checked if it was in tune as sort of a joke but not many people noticed / got it.”

This seems to be a montage of at least two fan-made videos from the said show. Below, you can find a 4K fan video of the James Hetfield angle.

Metallica: The Day That Never Comes [Live 4K] (Amsterdam, Netherlands - April 27, 2023)

As of this moment, Metallica are gearing up to continue their world tour, dubber “M72,” with the next concert taking place on May 17 in Paris, France. The entire tour is conceived in such a way that they cover one city two times. For instance, apart from the May 17 show, the concertgoers will also be able to catch another show two days later, on May 19, over at the same venue, Stade de France.

The tour is in support of the band’s newly released album “72 Seasons.” Making this their 11th full-length studio record, it was released on April 14 and features a total of 12 new songs.

Clocking in just over 77 minutes, “72 Seasons” received mostly positive reviews so far. However, the album debuted on the second spot of the Billboard 200 chart, making it the first one after 1988’s “…And Justice for All” not to hit the top spot. Nonetheless, the album is considered a commercial success, selling a total of 146,000 units, 134,000 of which were conventional sales.

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Late last year, when Metallica had only announced the new album and only had one single, “Lux Æterna,” out, James opened up on the overall lyrical theme of “72 Seasons.” Talking about the single, he said:

“‘Lux Æterna’ is an upbeat, kind of fast and joyous song, I would say — really indicative of New Wave of British [Heavy] Metal stuff, so kind of a harkening-back-to-’80s kind of riff. It’s just fun and makes me move. It was fun making the video, fun recording a song that comes out really easy, that was a real easy song to write and to perform, like I said, very much like the early ’80s for us.”

Metallica: Lux Æterna (Official Music Video)

As far as the whole album goes, James offered:

“’72 Seasons’ came out of a book I was reading about childhood, basically, and sorting out childhood as an adult. And 72 seasons is basically the first 18 years of your life. How do you evolve and grow and mature and develop your own ideas and identity of self after those first 72 seasons?”

“Some things are more difficult than others — you know, some things you can’t unsee and they’re with you for the rest of your life, and other things you’re able to rewind the tape and make a new tape in your life. So that’s the real interesting part for me, is how you’re able to address those situations as an adult and mature.”

Photo: YouTube screenshot ATARAXIA

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.