Metallica Plays National Anthem for the San Francisco Giants

James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica in 2018. Photo by Debby Wong/REX/Shutterstock (9953781u)

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of changes but some traditions are hard to break. The San Francisco Giants have been celebrating Metallica day since 2013—and no virus will stand in their way.

Each year, this day sees the band giving a rendition of the national anthem before the game. But as this year Major League Baseball is played with no crowd, guitarist Kirk Hammett and frontman James Hetfield played their version of The Star-Spangled Banner virtually from their Metallica HQ studio rather than coming physically to AT&T Park. The duo played wearing the Giants shirts, with Hammett taking the lead supported by Hetfield.

In addition to the anthem rendition, bassist Robert Trujillo delivered the ceremonial first pitch of the game. Trujillo had thrown the ball in a distant parking lot.

“To be able to support the hometown team in the best possible way, it’s a huge honor,” Hammett said before the game. “The thing about the anthem is that musically, it’s not difficult to play, but when you execute it, you have to execute it perfectly, you can’t mess up any notes, because everyone knows that tune.”