Metallica headlined video-game maker Blizzard Entertainment’s virtual BlizzCon 2021 event on Friday (February 19th), but those watching on Twitch were treated to an evening of … elevator music. Due to copyright concerns, Twitch replaced Metallica’s thunderous brand of heavy metal with a generic instrumental that made the legendary band’s performance look downright silly.
Things started out okay, with frontman James Hetfield introducing the performance by recalling how Metallica headlined the typically in-person Blizzcon event back in 2014, adding, “We would love to be there this year, but obviously can’t be … so here we are, and this is for you.”
Beaming in from their Bay Area band headquarters, Metallica launched into their classic song “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and everything sounded great … for about 20 seconds. And then, all of a sudden, Metallica’s audio cut out and was replaced by the goofiest sounding instrumental music while the band can still be seen rocking out.
The visuals of Hetfield singing angrily into his mic, Lars Ulrich pounding away on his drums, Robert Trujillo banging his head while playing bass, and guitarist Kirk Hammett kicking over a stool are hilarious juxtaposed with the dorky music playing over them.
Twitch’s decision to replace Metallica’s audio was the result of avoiding a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown. The live-streaming service has been barraged with takedown requests from record labels beginning in May of last year, with Twitch even warning users to not feature copyrighted music in their streams. However, it’s logical to think that Metallica’s label would have allowed the band’s own song to be streamed without any issues.
Those watching the BlizzCon event on YouTube had no idea about the silliness that was going over at Twitch, as Metallica’s performance came out loud and clear, the way the band intended.
Check out clips from the Twitch broadcast below, followed by the unhampered version on YouTube (beginning at the 1:24:54 mark). For the full Twitch experience (it’s worth it!), click here and begin watching at the 1:11:14 mark.
lmao blizzcon muted metallica’s live virtual concert and is just playing random low-key music over the whole thing pic.twitter.com/UqKnJf24VS
— RickyFTW (@rickyftw) February 19, 2021
Metallica’s Performance as It Was Meant to Be Heard:
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