Local Current Blog

Metallica cover Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ in Minneapolis: Epic, or epic fail?

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016. (Meredith Westin for MPR)

Last night, Metallica played a sold-out show at Target Center in Minneapolis, kitty-corner from First Avenue. The concert marked the first time the metal monsters played Minnesota since becoming the first rock band to play the Vikings’ new U.S. Bank Stadium, in 2016. While Metallica’s set consisted mostly of their greatest hits, the band did throw in a couple of songs from their latest album, which were well-received by the audience.

What didn’t go so well for the band was a cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” In front of a crowd of more than 19,000 people, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo attempted to cover the song in their own distinctive style.

Before the start of the song, Trujillo stepped up to the microphone and commanded the audience to sing along. “Tonight we’ve chosen a very special song,” he told the audience. “If you know the words, I want you to sing even if you don’t like the f—ing song, because it’s great and we like it. So have fun with us, okay? We spent some time on this.”

The crowd were “getting into it,” according to Metal Injection — but if so, the reaction wasn’t unanimous. Uproxx called the cover “bizarre,” with numerous observers pointing out the peculiarity of a decision to play a bass-forward cover of a song that famously had no bass in its original recording.

Pioneer Press music critic Ross Raihala wrote, “If you’ve ever wondered what half of Metallica sounds like covering Prince, well, it was worse than you can imagine. They attempted to Metallica-ize it, with Trujillo gruffly barking out the lyrics. It was so terrible, it may have been a complete joke — a joke that wasn’t funny. At least it didn’t last long.”

What do you think of Metallica’s cover of “When Doves Cry”? Take a look at the video below and let us know in the comments.

Simone Cazares is a student at Saint Paul College. Originally from Miami, Fla., she survives Minnesota’s cruel winters by immersing herself in the Twin Cities music scene.