During a Metallica show in Copenhagen this past Friday night (February 3), under-the-weather frontman James Hetfield gave the audience an interesting choice:
“You paid a lot of money to come see your favorite band—and we don’t sound good. I want to leave it up to you: Would you rather hear us sound better another time?”
After a roar from the Royal Arena crowd, Hetfield replied, “I love you too. I appreciate that. I want to stop; what do you say?”
But the crowd wasn’t interested; after they bellowed a loud “No!,” Hetfield gave in, saying, “OK, you asked for it. I’ll keep doing my best, all right? I appreciate you guys so much, man, thank you for supporting.” You can watch the entire minute-long episode in the top video—and even hear what the band sounded like that night courtesy of the fan-film clip of “Battery” at the bottom of this story.
It turns out, however, that Hetfield wasn’t fooling around. After subjecting him to a “battery” of tests (we couldn’t resist), Hetfield’s doctor says the frontman is so sick that he’s not allowed to sing a single note, which means several shows have been (and probably will be) canceled. Here’s the full statement from the band, which was issued over the weekend:
“We’re very disappointed to have to share with you that unfortunately as Saturday has progressed, James’ health, and specifically his throat, is not improving and he is under strict doctor’s orders to not sing one single note. So sadly we have to report that we will be postponing tomorrow’s show at the Royal Arena until September 2, 2017.
“Our week here in Copenhagen is something we have had circled on the calendar for a very long time as a special event not only for our friends in Denmark but also for us and we were really looking forward to celebrating the new arena with you. To those of you who were there yesterday, we appreciate you encouraging us to carry on . . . that meant the world to us! We all felt really bummed that we were unable to give you the maximum Metallica experience; it was one of the most challenging shows we’ve ever played, but your love and support got us through.
“We know that many of you made travel plans to spend the weekend with us and we are very sorry for any inconvenience this will cause. We hope that you will be able to come back to Copenhagen in September and we’ll do our best to make it up to everyone with something unique for you at the make-up gig, along with a kick ass show of course! And to Aphyxion, the band who won your votes to be Sunday’s opening act, we hope you’re available in September.
“Thank you again for all the support and care you’ve always shown us in Denmark. We will be back!
“The technicalities: If you have already traveled to Denmark and are able to attend either of the shows on February 7th or 9th, please contact Ticketmaster Denmark, who will do their best to help with replacement tickets for one of these shows although they are very limited. If you are not able to attend the rescheduled date on September 2nd, please contact them before March 1st for a refund of your tickets. Phone: + 45 7015 6565 or by email servicecenter AT ticketmaster DOT dk.
“A refund will only apply to the original buyer of the tickets, and you will need to verify your ownership of the tickets by providing Ticketmaster with the last 4 digits of your credit card number. Face value will be refunded but not service fees.
“P.S.: We are monitoring James’ voice on a day-to-day basis so watch this space for updates.”