Metallica returned to the stage after losing their lawsuit, and were victorious at the Helping Hands benefit show
Metallica has just lost its long-running legal battle against Lloyd’s of London, as a California judge cleared the insurance company Market of any financial losses stemming from the band’s postponement of six 2020 South American shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But just a day after this disappointing ruling was announced, Metallica was in good spirits, back on stage, and giving back, at the intimate Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, for the Helping Hands Concert & Auction fundraiser.
Frontman James Hetfield expressed his excitement at being able to play again for a die-hard Metallica audience, saying, “We’ve been together forever, for 200 years. We’re so grateful to do what we do.”
Hetfield and company even treated an audience Friday to the live debut of a new track from Metallica’s COVID-Delayed 72 seasons album, which will finally be released in April 2023. “We thought it would be a special party here, so much so that we would play ‘Lux Æterna,’ the first single from [72 Seasons]. We’ll be playing that for the first time here live. How about that?” Hetfield asked rhetorically. The sound of cymbals caused the band to pause and restart the song, but the 7,100 in attendance — which included Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum — didn’t seem right. or even noticed.
while “Lux Æterna” was the only preview of the night 72 seasonsThe event, which benefited the band’s All In My Hands Foundation, featured a few other surprises. Metallica played their first-ever covers of Thin Lizzy’s “Borderline” (“Phil Lynott was writing that song about my life,” Hetfield quipped) and the deep UFO piece “It’s Killing Me,” the latter a request of drummer Lars Ulrich. “We keep playing the covers because it is jokingHetfield laughed.
Then “new friend” St. Vincent – who actually covered “Sad But True” by Metallica on last year’s all-star covers collection, Metallica blacklist – strut to stack on the other black album The power ballad is “sad but true”. During the half-acoustic/half-electric concert, San Francisco folk singer/multi-instrumentalist and former AWMH intern, Avi Vinokur, also joined in, playing mandolin, acoustic, electric and 12-string guitars. (All the things we don’t know how to do, Hetfield said.)
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the fundraiser Friday, declaring Metallica “one of the best bands in the history of the world” to standing ovations, while Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Hawk also made surprise appearances to sing the band’s tribute and cheer for their fans. Up-and-coming rock star Greta Van Fleet opened the show.
Since Metallica created All In My Hands in 2017, the philanthropic initiative has raised $12 million to combat food insecurity, provide natural disaster relief, and build sustainable communities through workforce and community college programs. This year’s AWMH memorabilia auction, which kicked off December 5, runs through December 20; 100% of the proceeds from both the auction and the benefit show will go directly to those in need. The Friday ceremony was broadcast live via Paramount+, and will be available to watch again in full on Monday, December 19th.
As for what comes next for Metallica, post-lawsuit and post-pandemic, April 27, 2023 — two weeks after the highly anticipated release of 72 seasons, the band’s first studio album since 2016 – they’ll be back playing stadiums on their two-year M72 World Tour. They will perform two shows in each city, with completely different setlists for each night. Below is the full setlist for the Helping Hands concert on December 16th.
It hurts me so much
Whiskey in the jar
relaxation (Introduced by Hetfield, saying, “We’ll be back right away, take a little break, and then come back and kick some metal”)
reaper of grief
All in my hands
Death is approaching
A song by Metallica
Nothing Else Matters (with St. Vincent)
Seek and destroy
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