For many years Metallica's pre-show ritual has included a warm-up jam session in the band's 'tuning room.'
This week, the band shared footage of its tune-up from moments before taking the stage to film its long-awaited S&M 2 live album with the San Francisco Symphony, September 6 and 8, 2019.
Pulling off the orchestral arrangements of so many classic Metallica songs proved anxiety-provoking for the band members and the newly-released footage captures some of the pre-show jitters.
The video shows the band reviewing the setlist for each evening and getting the hair-raising five-minute warning.
"God help us all!" drummer Lars Ulrich exclaims before coming out from behind his tuning room drumkit to get ready for showtime.
The video cuts to the band waiting in the wings.
"I'm scared," Ulrich says, perhaps half-joking. "What if something happens? ...Then what are we gonna do? ...What if there's an earthquake?"
Ulrich then turns into a circle with his three bandmates.
Frontman James Hetfield can be heard asking, "Do you know what we're doing? I don't know what we're doing."
As the symphony begins to play, the band huddles up and guitarist Kirk Hammett delivers a pep talk.
"Let's go out there, enjoy ourselves, be in the moment," he says. "Listen, look and f---ing have the experience of our lives, yet again. F---ing enjoy ourselves, yeah!"
Check out the video in the player above!
In a recent conversation with Rolling Stone, Hammett recalled overwhelming nerves during the show, particularly for the intro to "Wherever I May Roam," a part he says he rarely plays correctly in the best circumstances.
"I had to play the intro on a Coral sitar," Hammett recalled. "My hands were shaking so much, and I kept on thinking to myself, 'Don't mess up. Don't mess up. Don't mess up.'
"And I played it right for only the second time out of 75 attempts. By the time I was playing the guitar for the meat of the song, I was still recovering from that high-pressure moment."
S&M 2 entered the Billboard 200 at No. 4 this past weekend. The album also made Metallica the first artist in history to score a No. 1 Mainstream Rock Song in four different decades.
Photo: Getty Images