Metallica played the Rock in Lisboa festival in Lisboa, Portugal on the weekend of May 25th. So did Mastodon. And James Hetfield wasn’t gonna let a little thing called “fame” stop him from enjoying Mastodon’s set from the best vantage-point imaginable: the moshpit!

Dave Grohl didn’t let his recognizability stop him from enjoying a Soundgarden reunion set amongst the normals in the crowd last year, but he no doubt had to contend with endless fan groping, photos and video-taping, and he probably got fed up with it all after a while and left. James Hetfield’s solution? Put on a ton of Metallica merch to cover up his trademark tattoos, don a mask, and head right in.

The majority of people at the event were too busy watching Mastodon to notice — we’ve all seen odder things at a metal show than a guy in a mask, and it’d be pretty tough to identify the mask-wearer as Hetfield anyway — but multiple eyewitness accounts claim they did notice, and the theories were corroborated with a security guard. Here’s an eyewitness account from commenter Pedro Sousel on 9gag, where the story broke:

So, during Mastodon at Rock in Rio, into the snake pit comes a guy fully dressed in metallica apparel, hoddie over the head, gloves in hands (with that heat!) and a mask. I was “ok, seen weirder stuff” and continue to rock on. But a friend of mine (the blonde girl on the picture below) grabbed me and said: ” That’s James!” And it really was him. Made some eye contact with him a few times, it really were his blue eyes. Also, the way he was rocking out, full of his manerisms (is this how you spell it?).

To add everything up, there was an security guy (not from the venue’s security) at the entrance of the pit, ALWAYS looking at him. To top it off, Jeff came in and snapped a few pictures of him. James was right behind me.

Most of the people in the pit didn’t noticed it, but the ones around him did. Nobody made a fuss about it, we let the man rock out, but we KNEW, and he knew we we’re on to him. In fact, he elbowed this friend of mine twice in a row, despite the fact she was not too close to him. Elbowed her once, she didn’t care, elbowed her twice, she looks back and he’s all relaxed, just watching the show… ;) He wanted us to notice him.

A few songs later, he walks out and a venue security grabs him; the other security guy that came with him talked with him. We couldn’t hear of course, but we later went to the venue security and asked him “Hey, was that James?” and his reply? “Yeah, he was in Metallica.”.

This is the second really cool thing James has done in as many months — is James finally trying to redeem himself for years of Metallica’s douchebaggery?


Thanks: Fernando Salazar

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