Watch: Kirk Hammett Messes Us Intro to ’Nothing Else Matters’ at Recent Metallica Show

Some new videos have emerged on YouTube, showing Kirk Hammett playing the intro to Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” at the band’s recent live show. The performance in question took place on August 4 in East Rutherford, New Jersey over at the MetLife stadium. And what made this performance kind of viral was Kirk messing up the intro to the legendary power ballad.

Of course, Hammett handled it pretty well. Since this was the first show of their current US tour in support of the new album “72 Seasons,” Kirk stopped and addressed the audience with a smile on his face:

“Okay, it’s the first show…[Laughs] I’m gonna do this intro all over for you guys again. It’s just not good enough for myself, and if it’s not good enough for myself, it’s not good enough for you!”

You can check out the video in the embedded player below:

KIRK HAMMETT RESTARTS SONG AFTER GUITAR FAIL LIVE (2023) #METALLICA

After the brief statement, Kirk proceeded to play “Nothing Else Matters” as usual without any errors. For the full video of the song’s performance at that show, check out the video below.

"Nothing Else Matters (Kirk Restarts Song Due to Messup)" Metallica@Rutherford, NJ 8/4/23

The show in question featured a total of 16 songs in the setlist. According to Setlist.fm, this is what was on the menu that night:

  1. Creeping Death
  2. Harvester of Sorrow
  3. Holier Than Thou
  4. King Nothing
  5. 72 Seasons
  6. If Darkness Had a Son
  7. Fade to Black
  8. Shadows Follow
  9. Orion
  10. Nothing Else Matters
  11. Sad but True
  12. The Day That Never Comes
  13. Battery
  14. Fuel
  15. Seek & Destroy
  16. Master of Puppets
METALLICA - FULL CONCERT NIGHT 1@MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ 8/4/23

Since Metallica released the debut single off of their new album “72 Seasons,” Kirk has been getting some negative reactions to his guitar solos. The first one to come out was “Lux Æterna” which was on November 28, 2022. Three more songs were released before Metallica launched their 11th record on April 14, 2023.

After some criticism, Kirk also addressed the issue in an interview that was published not long before the album’s release. This was at the point when the band had four songs out of all 12 released and he addressed not just some of the criticism but also some of the alternate solo versions shared online by fans. It seems that there were a lot of mentions of some flashy guitar-playing techniques, like fast sweep-picking arpeggios, so Kirk ended up addressing that in particular:

“Yeah, my fucking friends down the street could probably play a better solo than ‘Lux Æterna’ – but what’s the point. For me, what’s appropriate is playing for the song and playing in the moment.”

Metallica "Lux Æterna" But The Solo Doesn't Suck

“I was just laughing the whole time. I could string together like six or seven three-octave arpeggios in 16th notes, sit there every day and practice it and go, ‘Hey, look what I can do!’ but where am I gonna put it? That won’t work in any Metallica song!“

“Arpeggios? Come on! In a guitar solo, mapped out like a lot of people do, four or five chords with a different arpeggio over each one? It sounds like an exercise. I don’t want to listen to exercises and warm-ups every time I hear a song.” 

Kirk also added:

“The only guys out there who I think convincingly play arpeggios as a means of expression are Joe Satriani, Yngwie [Malmsteen], and Paul Gilbert.”

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“Sweeping to me is a weird thing to begin with because sweeping’s incredibly easy but it sounds incredibly hard. That’s cool once or twice, but I mean, why do it? When it first came out in the late ’70s, by the early ’80s everyone was doing it. By not doing it, you stood out.”

Discussing this further, Kirk also explained that he’s more than familiar with a variety of scales and that using the good old minor pentatonic was for a reason:

“I know my modes, Hungarian scales, symmetrical scales, I know all that shit. Is it appropriate? Maybe earlier in our time, but not now. What’s more appropriate is coming up with melodies that are more like vocal melodies. And guess what? The best scale for mimicking vocal melodies is the pentatonic.”

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“It’s actually harder to say stuff with pentatonics because you don’t have that many notes. It’s easier to play modal. I will challenge anyone on that.”

“I love from the heart playing, and I’ve heard real technical playing that’s from the heart. Allan Holdsworth, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Yngwie – they all play from the heart, but for a lot of guys it’s just like sports or the Olympics.“

“Music is to reflect beauty, creativity, feeling, life. There is a place and there’s an audience for all that stuff, but I feel there comes a time when people just get tired of that.“

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“Today, you know, people are doing really interesting stuff with technique. Technique is reaching new boundaries and I love that, but I have to stress it’s important to play for the song. If you do that, your music will have that much more integrity and lasting power.”

Photo: YouTube screenshot

  • 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 Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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