Metallica Stage Crew Members Catch Fire: Staged or Not?
Metallica were back in action in Mexico City Saturday night (July 28) and part of their performance had some fans fearing the worst for a pair of stage crew members.
During the set, the band rolled into their classic 'Enter Sandman' with plenty of pyro to excite the crowd. However, it appeared to those watching that one of the flare launchers failed and two of the crew members who went to check on the mishap soon found themselves running around the stage engulfed in flames before fire extinguishers put out the blaze.
Adding to the confusion, singer James Hetfield can audibly be heard stating, "Stop, stop!" After a several minute break where the two men were taken from the stage on stretchers, the band resumed playing their show.
But before you go fearing the worst, a spokesperson for promoters Ocesa told El Universal (via Blabbermouth), "It's all part of the show." The incident was reportedly a recreation of the "accident" that was staged for Metallica's concert video, 'Cunning Stunts,' which featured a collapsing stage set and pyrotechnics explosion with a man on fire crossing the stage.
The performance was the first of an eight-night run at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, and featured a new stage set up with a 140 X 50 ft. performance area with striking new visual elements.
Prior to the show, James Hetfield stated at a press conference that part of the focus would be on "the stage set and the dangerous elements of that - staying alive." Bassist Robert Trujillo echoed those comments, adding, "It's very dangerous - we've got stuff flying every which way."
After the show, the band's tour journal stated, "S--- really hit the fan [during 'Enter Sandman'], loud bangs, random fireworks, falling towers, falling spot light guy, falling scaffolding, guy was caught on fire … then a complete blackout. After a few, some things were still working so the crew brought up some work lights, amps and speakers and the band played on with 'Die, Die My Darling.'"