Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield delivered a six string salute to the United States with a tasteful, but heavy rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the X Games in Austin, Texas on Saturday.
Hammett took lead on the instrumental version of the national anthem, subtly nudging his wah-wah pedal throughout, while Hetfield backed up his bandmate with fiendish harmonies and stadium-sized power chords. The duo even allowed themselves a brief descent into feedback — à la Jimi Hendrix’s famed rendition at Woodstock — before concluding the song in dramatic, fret-tapping fashion, complete with banging heads and pumping fists.
Metallica also performed a full concert at the X Games on Saturday, co-headlining the Super Stage alongside Nicki Minaj. The lineup also featured Talib Kweli, Kid Ink, Pennywise, Deltron 3030, Joywave and the Glitch Mob. A professionally mixed recording of that show is available to pre-order via Metallica’s website, and will cost $5 through July 15th. Audio will be posted in the next few days, and all proceeds will benefit efforts to assist victims of the recent floods in Central Texas.
Capping off their partnership with the X Games, Metallica provided the extreme sports showcase with a fresh theme song this year. The group partnered with the Glitch Mob for a remix of “Lords of Summer,” an eight minute cut they debuted at a concert in Bogotá, Colombia last summer.
For the past three years, Hetfield and Hammett have performed their version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as part of the San Francisco Giants’ annual “Metallica Day” (though they formed in Los Angeles, Metallica’s career began in earnest in the Bay Area). The group returned to AT&T Park most recently on May 2nd.