If you think about it, hockey is the most metal mainstream sport we have. Big, burly, toothless slabs of beef gliding like acrobats on ice, body-checking each-other into plexiglass and fist-fighting in pursuit of a speeding bullet. Pretty. F-cking. Metal. So what better way to initiate Fame Four of the Stanley Cup Finals between the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins than by inviting the biggest metal band in the world to perform the National Anthem in the rink?
Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield represented Metallica and their own Bay Area hockey team before they squared off against a Pittsburgh team who were ahead one game. Walking out into the corner of the rink, both guitarists ripped and shredded, elevating our nation’s great theme into the gates of Asgard. While this is by no means the first time our national anthem has been performed instrumentally (sup, Jimi?), it is very cool to hear a metal take on our most classic song. The harmonies made me went to flip my desk, tear the sleeves off my shirt, punch a barrel full of hamburger meat, and take off running into the mountains. If Leonardo DiCaprio had this version of the song in The Revenant he would have Hulk-Hogan-leg-dropped that bear and saved audiences a solid two hours. In short, it’s rad, and I hope you enjoy it half as much as I did.
Any other instrumental performances of the National Anthem come to mind? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
Image: Metallica, Elektra