They’ve proven to be the hard rockers with the soft hearts.
South Island fans were overjoyed when touring heavy metal band Metallica announced they would play a concert in Christchurch in addition to their two Auckland shows. The group succumbed to pressure after more than 20,000 die hard fans campaigned on Facebook for a concert closer to home.
“Sometimes you do get what you want! You asked (OK, demanded!) and we heard ya.” Metallica posted through its fan club after seeing the overwhelming Facebook page. So at the request of their loyal fans, Metallica flew into quake ravaged Christchurch for the first time on September 21, and put on a show that blew audiences away.
Although the team wasn’t able to bring to CBS Canterbury Arena the decked-out stage it later erected in Auckland, fans still described the evening as an epic night of metal. Just when audiences thought they couldn’t give anymore, after the show band members stayed on stage for almost 10 minutes throwing guitar picks and drum sticks out to fans
But Metallica’s humanity didn’t stop in Christchurch; the band took time out of their busy schedule once again to please a very special fan in Auckland.
Seventeen-year-old Jed Roberts, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the end of last year, was given the chance to meet his biggest heroes when Metallica invited the teen fan backstage to one of their Auckland shows.
Each band member spent time alone with Jed, exchanging stories about family, hobbies and music. Jed described the rockers as "down to earth" and "just like everyone else".
When he was too unwell to attend the concert, drummer Lars Ulrich offered Jed a private concert in the rehearsal room before the show. Unfortunately, that had to be turned down too, but the band's sensitivity and generosity touched Jed’s father Dean, who went along for the trip.
Metallica went above and beyond to satisfy New Zealand fans this year and while they now know that our little country can rock hard, we now know that behind the guitars and head banging are some compassionate and considerate guys.