Watch Kirk Hammett fail the intro to Nothing Else Matters and fall on the floor during Metallica's Boston Calling set

Kirk Hammett of Metallica
(Image credit: JeanPaul Cardenas/YouTube)

If you're ever doubtful of your playing, just know that even pro guitarists slip up at times. That's exactly what happened to Kirk Hammett during Metallica's recent headline set at Boston Calling, Massachusetts on Sunday (May 29). 

The guitarist – one of the most experienced and accomplished shredders in the world, we might add – had sailed through the band's raucous set, which featured hits including Seek & Destroy, One and Sad But True, and even kicked off the encore without a hitch with a blazing performance of Battery.

But when it came time to perform Black Album classic Nothing Else Matters, the penultimate track on the setlist, Hammett messed up the intro, claiming he “got distracted by how kickass” the crowd in attendance was.

In new fan-shot footage, Hammett can be seen brushing off the error, playfully collapsing to the floor to the amusement of the crowd, before dusting himself off and circling around for a second attempt.

Notably, Greeny, Hammett's legendary Gibson Les Paul once owned by Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green, takes a tumble with him, but luckily it appears to come away unscathed.

There are two lessons to be learned from Hammett's slip-up. First: we're all human, and everybody makes mistakes, so whether you hit a dud note while playing a gig or it takes longer than desired to record that killer guitar solo, give yourself a break, because it happens to everyone.

And second: It's not about avoiding errors, because they'll happen. Rather, it's about how you handle them and keep a level head without getting flustered. In Hammett's case, he responded lightheartedly, made a joke, forgot the blunder and carried on. Even the best guitarists know they're not perfect.

This isn't the first time in recent memory we've seen a more human side to Metallica. Earlier this month, frontman James Hetfield told the crowd at the band's show in Belo Horizonte, Brazil that he felt like “an old guy”, and that he was worried he couldn't play guitar anymore before taking to the stage.

Following his comments, his bandmates, Hammett, bassist Rob Trujillo and drummer Lars Ulrich, left their onstage posts to give the rhythm guitar legend a group hug, leaving him visibly emotional.

In other news, Kirk Hammett recently revealed his 11 favorite wah solos he's ever laid down with Metallica

The list, which appears on the baseplate of the guitarist's just-launched second signature Cry Baby Wah, the KH95X, features some songs you might not expect, like the band's 1998 cover of Bob Seger's Turn the Page, and Shoot Me Again, from 2003's famously solo-less St. Anger.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.