By Brian Ives
After weeks of controversy over whether Metallica was an appropriate headliner for the British rock festival Glastonbury, or if they should be protested because frontman James Hetfield narrated The Hunt, an eight-part television series documenting the killing of Alaskan Kodiak brown bears, the weekend of the festival finally came. Metallica performed as scheduled, but not before showing a bizarre intro film called “Glastallica.”
As usual, the band used Ennio Morricone’s theme to the Sergio Leone 1966 spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and showed a scene from the film (the film started with the words “R.I.P. Eli Wallach 1915 – 2014” on the screen, in tribute to the one of the film’s leads, who had just passed away on June 24).
After that, things got weird.
A minute and a half into the film, the scene changed to a British fox hunt (which has been illegal in England since 2005). The hunt, which sees a troop of scent hounds as well as hunters on horseback pursuing a fox (soundtracked to the Sweet’s “Fox on the Run,” which plays after what sounds like Hetfield yelling “What does the fox say?”) is interrupted by four bears with shotguns who — surprise! — turn out to be Metallica’s Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo.
Watch the film, directed by Julien Temple (Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, The Great Rock and Roll Swindle), below.
You can watch the band’s entire hour-and-a-half set here.
Up next for Metallica: a two-week string of European dates. After that, they’ll return to North America to headline the Heavy Montreal festival in Canada on Aug. 9.
And after that, presumably, they’ll get back to the task of following up 2008’s Death Magnetic, which the band has reportedly been working on — even recently revealing a new song, “Lords of Summer,” earlier this month.