Metallica's WorldWired tour kicked off in 2016. Every night, about two-thirds of the way through the set, there's a jam: Rob and Kirk's Doodle. And, since the summer of 2017, Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett have expanded the section to include a song associated with the city they're playing in.
It's rough and ready. The parts are learned before the performance and Rob reads the lyrics from a music stand. They're often in a foreign language. But it's become one of the most anticipated parts of the show.
Some of the artists they cover are established, while others require a little more local knowledge. For every Black Sabbath or Rammstein or Lynyrd Skynyrd or A-Ha (yes, they tackled Take On Me in Oslo), there's a song by Indianapolis hardcore punks Zero Boys or Portuguese rockers Xutos & Pontapés.
Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it isn't. Anyone who saw the pair labour their way through The Stone Roses' I Wanna Be Adored in Manchester will have no difficulty in associating the phrase 'damp squib' with the experience, while their version of Celtic Frost's The Usurper – played in Zurich in May 2019 – drew complaints from Frost frontman Tom G. Warrior.
"They butchered it, and it was humiliating," he moaned. "Why don't they leave their millionaire fingers off it? They've long lost the ability to play true metal, in my opinion."
But when it works, it really works. And, for some reason, it's often the Eastern European choices that work best. Take Jožin Z Bažin, originally by Czech musician Ivan Mládek, performed as a doodle in Prague.
It's a comedy folk song about a mysterious, swamp-dwelling man-eating monster, and the stadium erupts when it's played. The crowd bellows along, Rob and Kirk sound like the greatest, drunkest wedding band ever, and everyone goes home knowing they witnessed something entirely unique.
Our Metallica Doodle Map is below. It features every local doodle performed on the WorldWired tour so far. Zoom in and pick a show, and you'll be able to watch Kirk and Rob at work as well as the original song.
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