See Metallica, Lady Gaga Unleash Blistering ‘Moth Into Flame’ at Grammys

Unlikely pair fight through sound issues to deliver unique mix of metal grit, pop bombast

UPDATE: Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich has apologized to Metallica after singer James Hetfield’s mic did not work for most of the group’s performance with Lady Gaga. “Obviously, we apologize to the band,” he told Associated Press, adding that the incident was “awful.”

Metallica and Lady Gaga unleashed an outsized performance of the former’s “Moth Into Flame” at the Grammy Awards Sunday.

While Metallica’s James Hetfield was initially beset by microphone issues, he and Gaga eventually shared a single mic, adding an extra bit of rock showmanship to an already potent mix of heavy metal grit and pop bombast. For the rest of the performance, the unlikely pair tore through the Hardwired… to Self-Destruct song amidst a flurry of pyrotechnics and a horde of headbangers, with Gaga even launching herself into the crowd for some old fashioned crowdsurfing. At the end of the performance, a visibly pissed Hetfield knocked down his mic stand and threw his guitar offstage. 

In an interview with Apple Music, Gaga spoke about how the unlikely collaboration came together, saying, “I was at Bradley [Cooper’s] house with Lars [Ulrich] and we were just hanging out. He’s amazing. I went to see them live. I saw them recently and we were watching the show; those guys play better than they’ve played in their whole lives.”

The performance capped a massive week for Gaga, who performed a career-spanning medley during the Super Bowl halftime show, February 5th. The pop star also announced a world tour in support of her latest album Joanne, which jumped from Number 66 to Number Two on the Billboard 200 chart.

As for Metallica, the heavy metal outfit was nominated for Grammy for Best Rock Song for “Hardwired,” but lost to David Bowie’s “Blackstar.” The track appears on their latest album, Hardwired … to Self-Destruct, which did not receive any nominations this year since it was released in November after the Grammy deadline.