Metallica salute Michael Jackson/Queen at Sonisphere
Even Metallica are Michael Jackson fans. For their encore at the Sonisphere Festival in Germany, the heavy metal titans played the memorable riff to Jackson's Beat It before paying a full-fledged tribute to Queen.
After the band slammed down a forceful portion of Beat It, a newly shorn James Hetfield said to the crowd, "That was a main influence on Kirk's guitar playing."
Whether he was referencing the riff itself or the fleet-fingered solo that Eddie Van Halen famously played on Michael Jackson's across-the-board smash isn't clear, but the performance was a timely gesture.
But they weren't done. Next, Hetfield said, "OK, here's a part where we play a song that's inspired us to play music from a band that we grew up listening to. Tonight, the chosen band is Queen."
And with that, Metallica sliced through a frenzied version of Queen's classic Stone Cold Crazy. The band covered the song for the1990 compilation album Rubaiyat - Elektra's 40th Anniversary; it would later appear as a b-side on the single Enter Sandman and again on their 1998 set Garage Inc. Which means they really, really like it!
Check out a fan-shot YouTube video below: