Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich had fallen sick before a show as revealed by the co-founder of the Slayer, Dave Lombardo. This led to an opportunity for him to get in as the drummer for none other than Metallica at a moment’s notice back in 2004.
Dave Lombardo recalls his experience with Metallica
Metallica, Slayer, and Slipknot were all playing at UK’s Download festival in ’04, and some time after Slayer finished its set, Lombardo was approached with a request to sit in for Lars Ulrich who was not feeling well enough to play. Lombardo recently described the situation to Metal Hammer:
“Slayer had played in the tent earlier in the evening, and I was somewhere backstage when I was approached by management. They said, ‘Lars can’t make it, and Metallica was wondering if you’d be able to sit in?’ It was a bit of a shock. My first thought was, ‘Is Lars OK?’ But they said, ‘He’s OK, he’s at the doctors, he’s just having a bit of a moment.’ So I said I’d do whatever I could to help.”
It was also revealed that Slipknot was also around and a decision was made to turn Lars Ulrich’s absence into a spectacle of guest drummers, and in addition to Lombardo, Joey Jordison was also asked to play during another part of the set.
He was asked to describe what he felt in those few minutes leading to the performance itself, Lombardo replied:
“Excitement. I love challenges: ‘Alright, let’s do it, we’ll work it out and make it happen.’ I was thrilled to be up there with those guys, but it was surreal seeing James and Kirk and Rob in front of me. Like, ‘Is this really happening?’’But I couldn’t question the moment, ‘cos there was something more important at stake, which was to help Lars and the band deliver these songs, and deliver a show for the fans.”