James Hetfield Reacts To Viral Video Of Him Rocking Out To Judas Priest

By Katrina Nattress

October 11, 2023

Metallica With Greta Van Fleet - Las Vegas, NV
Photo: Getty Images North America

Normally when bands watch other bands set at a music festival, they'll do it from the side stage, but over the weekend a moment went viral when James Hetfield was spotted headbanging and playing air guitar in the front row during Judas Priest's Power Trip set. Metallica headlined the festival that same night, and in the latest episode of The Metallica Report podcast, the front man reacted to the footage of him rocking out that's been swirling around the internet.

“I just kind of realized that we’re down in the very front, looking up. You got Rob Halford riding out on a motorcycle, and there’s fans behind us, looking at us. They’re watching us enjoy that. How cool!" he exclaimed. "I guess that’s pretty cool, you know, but we’re fans at the end of the day. We wanted to be in the mix and see it. So it’s been a fantastic weekend.”

Listen to the full Metallica Report episode above.

Power Trip also saw Guns N' RosesIron MaidenTool and AC/DC playing their first show in seven years.

The festival was also supposed to feature a set from Ozzy Osbourne, who was coming out of retirement for the festival, but unfortunately the Prince of Darkness suffered another health setback that forced him to cancel.

"As painful as this is, I’ve had to make the decision to bow out of performing on Power Trip in October. My original plan was to return to the stage in the summer of 2024, and when the offer to do this show came in, I optimistically moved forward," he explained in a statement. "Unfortunately, my body is telling me that I’m just not ready yet and I am much too proud to have the first show that I do in nearly five years be half-a**ed. The band that will be replacing me on Power Trip will be announced shortly. They are personal friends of mine and I can promise that you will not be disappointed. Above all, I want to thank my fans, my band, and my crew for their unconditional loyalty and continual support."

In February, Osbourne announced that his touring career was over and cancelled the remainder of his shows, telling fans that he had to do what was best for his physical health. Less than three weeks later, he released a statement that outlined his desire to be on the road again.

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