Metallica’s Four Man Drum Jam

From left: James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett
rock the drums during their Mexico City show on March 1, 2017.
(YouTube still from arturoutube‘s video clip.)

A few months into their WorldWired tour, Metallica have been dazzling fans with their headbanging oeuvre augmented by an intense video and light show. An unusual highlight occurred during their three sold out Mexico City dates earlier this month when the quartet broke into a four-way drum jam about two-thirds of the way through the new tune “Now That We’re Dead”. The tom work that Lars Ulrich plays on the album version at the five-minute mark offers a tribal vibe that was augmented live by guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo all playing (what look like) timbales together against what Lars was hammering out. Then the drummer stepped out to join them, with James and Robert trading off with Kirk and Lars before James eventually broke into his own rhythm. Once Lars returned behind the kit, the band resumed the song.

March 1st show:

While we’re not talking about polyrhythmic pounding here, this is an idea that echoes the dual drum kit face-off between Lars and James that was captured in their Mexico City shows in 1992 and released on the Live Sh*t: Binge & Purge box. (Hetfield has decent chops.) At one point during that same tour, James played drums and Lars sang (with Kirk on bass and Jason Newsted on guitar) for their cover of Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?” This new drum face-off seems to have just emerged during the recent Mexico City shows. I have not found other examples in any previous WorldWired concert clips online. It was certainly a clever way to get the audience chanting “hey!” in tandem without typical frontman antics.

Although it’s a far cry from Godsmack’s two-man “Batalla de los tambores” between that band’s drummer Shannon Larkin and frontman Sully Erna, it will be interesting to see if Metallica decide to pull this drum jam out on future dates and perhaps take it to the next level. The next tour stops, in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, are coming up in the next eight days, so we will know soon enough. Heavy metal certainly calls for intense bashing, so why not bring it on?

March 3rd show:

1992 drum jam from Live Sh*t: Binge & Purge:

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