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Metallica Serenade Willie Mays at San Francisco Giants Game

(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images)

This past Friday night, Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at AT&T Park in San Francisco. As you can see in the Facebook photos below, they played custom San Francisco Giants-themed ESP guitars through a pair of Giants-themed Mesa/Boogie cabinets.

During the evening, better known as "Metallica Night," Hetfield sang "Happy Birthday" to Giants legend Willie Mays while bassist Robert Trujillo held up a Willie Mays sign.

Drummer Lars Ulrich also got into the act, throwing out the game's first pitch.

"It's amazing, you know," Hammett told "As a hometown kid, being able to hang out with my hometown kid, I mean, it's epic, you know. It brings me back to when I was a little kid and I used to go see the Giants at Kezar Stadium in Candlestick Park and whatnot. Willie Mays is here. I used to idolize Willie Mays when I was in fourth and fifth grade like all my other friends did. It's just a really, really cool thing. I totally enjoy it. I mean, it's wonderful.

"My family loves it too, and it's just a great, great thing. And James and I, our rendition of the national anthem, I really feel, is really unique and different, and it's great that we can come here and play our version for our home team and our hometown audience, and it's really, really great."

Below, check out footage of "Happy Birthday" and "The Star Spangled Banner," plus a few of the band's official photos from the event.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.