Saint John — A thunderstorm literally “rocked” the “heavy-metal capital” of New Brunswick last evening when Metallica lead singer James Hetfield’s roaring vocals were reportedly heard throughout the storm.
What began as a light Saint John-y drizzle unexpectedly took a turn for the worse, or in the case of Saint John native and die-hard Metallica fan Paul Melanson, the better. Melanson had been listening to Metallica last night when the squall began. “My favourite part in ‘Enter Sandman’ was coming up when all of a sudden the power went out and lightning came right through my fuckin’ window and hit my ghetto-blaster! All I could hear was Hetfield’s voice from the sky goin’ ‘WHOA YA-YA… WHOA NO-HOOO!!!’ — It was fuckin’ awesome!”
Area residents wondered how excerpts from the band’s legendary hit song “Enter Sandman” had seemed strategically placed throughout the mid-week tempest; it was almost been as if Hetfield had left the man’s stereo and become part of the storm (exit ghettoblaster — enter night?).
“I never liked my teenagers listening to that Metallica,” said longtime uptown Saint John resident Cindy Berry. “I guess now I don’t have a choice.”
What some would call a terrifying experience, others were calling a star-studded epiphany.
“After Hetfield went into that sky, he just took over!” declared Metallica enthusiast Brad McLean. “When the song slowed down, so did the storm and when the song sped up, all hell broke loose.” McLean said lead guitarist Kirk Hammett’s howling 45-second guitar solo just happened to occur during the craziest part of the storm. “The thunder and lightening was non-stop. Fuckin’ one after another! When Hammett hit that bending E note on his wah-wah pedal I saw a fuckin’ barn blow up across the field!”
During the pre-chorus of the “Enter Sandman” video, Hetfield and a young boy follow up the solo reciting a variation of the lullaby “Hush Little Baby.” As the Saint John sky grew calm, Hetfield and the young boy had apparently done just that. The duo reportedly appeared as something like a hologram over top of the drizzly city-scape, kneeling across from one another, reciting the gentle lullaby.
“It really was just magical… like the northern lights, but Metallica,” said awestruck bystander Tammy Cooper.
Just when the city thought this peculiar concert-storm was coming to a close, the aggressive frontman belted out the infamous lyric, “In your closet and in your HEEE-EEEAD!” triggering that chaotic chorus once again for one final verse: “EEEEXIT LIGHT: ENTEEEER NI-IIIGHT!” As the chorus finally trailed off into the night, quiet reverberations of Hetfield’s cackling laugh could still be heard in the distance.
Meteorologist Craig Davis commented on the bizarre occurrence. “I’ve been tracking weather systems for 26 years and I’ve never seen anything like it; it’s beyond me how that lion-face of a man managed to make his way into one of our storms.”
Others say Hetfield could have been seeking revenge for what happened in 1988, when the city banned him for life after the band allegedly trashed half of a floor at a Howard Johnson.