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.

  • Mark Ramm

    Horrible.

  • Angry Jonny

    I’ll take this over Jack White any day.

    • HyperboleJoe

      Did you mean Jack Black, or did Jack White do a cover too?

  • Jon Stark

    It was a minute of the show, a bit of fun and shows that they’re not afraid to mix it up and try something different. I had no problem with it.

  • Wendy Jo

    Musicians coming into Minneapolis…. showing respect towards Prince. That’s what true musicianship is all about. Love of the art….and nods toward their “brother”. 💜

  • todd a.

    It was a fun departure in the middle of their set (Hetfield consistently asked the crowd ‘are you having fun?’ throughout the show)- it wasn’t meant to be the overly sincere tribute to Prince that is somehow expected by music fans in the Twin Cities. They do it in most towns where there is/has been a prominent musician. With the Current’s playlists stuck on over-serious, super earnest ‘songwriters with a guitar and feelings’ it was refreshing to have a light hearted fun moment.

  • Penny Lane

    Of course it’s not going to be as good as the original Prince song. This is however the world’s best Metal band trying to honor Prince. Obviously it’s not gonna sound the same!! I believe that that did an ok job& this just shows how diverse Metallica can be. Props for at least trying !!

  • Francis Rose

    The instrumentals were very good. They are both excellent players. I appreciate their willingness to do things their fan base is incapable of appreciating. Some great players are not great singers. Some great singers can’t play. Their instruments sounded great on the video. I believe they view “Metallica” as an entity to simply be their job. Its a job. Part of their job is pandering to ignorant morons. I really like that they are willing to actually attempt to go way outside their fan base’s comfort zone. Lots of modern Metallica fans are idiots. The band seems to be completely aware of that fact and has fun with it.

    What do I know? I LIKED Lulu!

  • John @ Stony Brook

    Stilted. Sloppy. Uninspired. Insincere.

  • HyperboleJoe

    I appreciate the attempt and was hopeful for something awesome, but musically it sounded a bit like when you make mistakes on Guitar Hero. Nothing about that really worked well.

  • Jeff C.

    Epic? Nope. Epic fail? Nope. Cool move? Nice nod? Yup.

  • @Darth_icky42079

    Not bad for a cover of our “Purple Yoda” from one of the best Metal bands of the past 30+ years

  • Love it!

  • fran peller

    They tried, they came into Prince terratory and paid tribute to Minnesotas Genius! Nice Job!!