Metallica front man James Hetfield may be best known for his band’s hard rock songs like “Enter Sandman” and “Master of Puppets,” but he recently went unplugged for a benefit concert for pediatric cancer. On Friday, Rolling Stone posted video from the Acoutic-4-a-Cure event that took place at the Fillmore in San Francisco on May 15.
Hetfield reportedly asked the crowd if they liked the Beatles, before performing the Fab Four classic 'In My Life." The rock star’s rare solo gig also included acoustic versions of Metallica classics "Nothing Else Matters" and "Until It Sleeps,” before he was joined by Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong and legendary guitarist Joe Satriani, for a medley of the Bob Seger’s "Turn the Page" and Green Day’s "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." (Metallica previously covered “Turn the Page” in 1998 on their “Garage, Inc” album and even landed a rare top spot on the Billboard charts for their version of the Seger classic.)
The benefit concert was the brainchild of Bay Area native and former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, according to San Jose Mercury News. In addition to Hagar and Hetfield, Train's Pat Monahan, and Heart's Nancy Wilson were also on the lineup. Proceeds from the all acoustic concert will benefit the Pediatric Cancer Program at the Bay Area's UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.
In a press release for the event, Hagar said, "I ran the idea of a benefit concert by James and we quickly had an amazing lineup of artists on board, then Live Nation stepped up with The Fillmore and now we've got an epic event -- the first of many hopefully -- so we can help keep their research and programs funded and on the path to a cure.”
With the acoustic jam session complete, Hetfield’s next stop is Helsinki, Finland for the next leg of Metallica’s tour. But will his acoustic versions of classic rock songs follow him overseas? Last Sunday, Metallica’s appearance at the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit concert in Los Angeles featured a four song acoustic set. At that show, Hetfield dedicated “In My Life" to fellow hard rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who’s reportedly a huge Beatles fan.
Check out the Metallica website here for more of the band’s tour dates and videos.