Last night in Minneapolis, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Rob Trujillo covered Prince’s “When Doves Cry” for an arena full of people and it sucked so bad. It was a sold-out show at the Target Center, which means that almost 20,000 people heard this crazy mess play out.
Before the song began, Trujillo commanded the crowd to sing along, “Even if you don’t like the song.” He continued, “Have fun with this. We spent some time with this.” We’re going to have to chalk that up as wasted time.
Let’s just go ahead and break this performance down a bit. The two start off with a gleefully mischievous high five like they know they’re about to do something bad. And at first, it’s hard to tell what song they’re attempting. The cameras zoom in on their intricate finger work. Trujillo barks out the lyrics. “When Doves Cry” notably has no bass line, a rare feature for an ’80s dance song. Prince didn’t use one because he thought it dragged the song too far into conventionality. Naturally, Metallica added one.
When the time comes to sing the titular line, Trujillo lets the audience do the honors all three times. Their second attempt is almost dead silent (1:49). And about halfway through, Hammett presumably drops his pick and has to bend down to retrieve it. The more I watch, the harder I focus on the crowd in the background, all stiff and confused. But Kirk and Rob end their mid-show diversion proud and giddy.
Sure, it’s hard for any cover to do Prince justice, but this duo managed to do an especially terrible job. Watch below if you dare.