Metallica frontman James Hetfield threw his guitar off stage in anger when sound problems caused havoc during the band’s performance with Lady Gaga at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night.
The rock band hit the stage alongside the Poker Face singer for one of the most highly-anticipated performances at the Staples Center during the awards ceremony; however, their rendition of Moth Into Flame was marred by problems from the outset, when James’ microphone failed to work. While Gaga’s vocals could be heard perfectly, James’ singing was entirely mute until he and Gaga decided to share a microphone before his sprung back to life halfway through the performance.
Despite the error not detracting too much from the final performance, James was clearly left fuming by the sound problems. And as the band finished the song, James was seen knocking down his microphone stand and throwing his white electric guitar off stage in fury, swiftly followed by his pick.
Gaga didn’t let the errors dampen her mood, and took to her Instagram page afterwards to share a picture of herself crowd surfing during the performance, writing: “One of the best times I’ve ever had on stage ever. These guys rock HARD! #metallica thank you to you and your loyal fans for honouring me and monsters with that moment.”
The rock band and Gaga were introduced to the stage by Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, who caused controversy by not actually mentioning Metallica by name as she welcomed them for the performance.
“Ladies and gentleman, all my gender non-binary people watching tonight, eight-time Grammy award winners and six-time Grammy winner, Lady Gaga,” she said before fans pointed out her error.
Laverne later returned to her Twitter page to share an apology for the mistake, writing: “I am so sorry to #Metallica and all their fans. I am told I didn’t say their names during the intro. Love you Metallica. You rock.”
Earlier in the day, during the Grammy Pre-Show when most of the awards are given, Megadeth won their first ever Grammy Award (Best Metal Performance) for their album Dystopia. Unfortunately, the pit band didn’t know the difference between Megadeth and Metallica, playing the latter’s Master of Puppets as Dave Mustaine and the rest of the band took the stage.
Mustaine didn’t address the song while on stage, although he did talk about the fact that this was their twelfth nomination. “It only took 12 tries to get this. Last time we were here (2011), we were talking to Kenny G, and he asked me how many times we’d been here. ’11 isn’t that bad,’ he said. I asked him, ‘How many times did it take you?’ And he said, ’21.’ I was, like, ‘Oh my God. If it takes 21 times, I don’t know if I will live that long!”
He did take to Twitter later in the evening to comment on the song mixup. He wrote “Ah, you can’t blame ’em for not being able to play @Megadeth”.