Jimmy Fallon, Metallica & The Roots Perform “Enter Sandman”, But Not How You’d Expect

On The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, in 2016, the metal heavyweights Metallica joined forces with Fallon and the hip hop outfit The Roots for a one-off rendition of “Enter Sandman” that was nothing short of unforgettable. Did it feature blistering guitar riffs, frantic drums, and groovy basslines? Not quite… This particular version featured the ensemble playing with nothing but classroom instruments and their own incredibly enthusiastic voices!

Packed into a rather tiny room, all 13 celebrities came together to create an adorable and energetic performance that would make any metalhead’s “Blackened” heart get that little bit warmer. The enjoyment that each member is having with their instruments is infectious, and Jimmy Fallon himself even joins in to help sing the song alongside James Hetfield! Watch them give it their all, and prove that metal isn’t always loud and scary, in the video below:

There’s something rather amazing about seeing one of the biggest metal bands in the world sitting happily, swaying to and fro, while playing one of their most successful songs on children’s instruments. Better yet, when the song enters its quieter moment, the whole room leans in and joins in on playfully being quiet, before enthusiastically screaming the next verse. It’s good, simple fun that warms the heart and reminds us all that it’s never a bad time to indulge the inner kid within us all.

Metallica is part of the community-named Big Four: a collection of four thrash bands formed in the 1980s that made the genre a commercial powerhouse. Standing beside Metallica in the Big Four were Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth. While other bands, such as Brazil’s Sepultura, are also considered to be a huge influence on thrash metal, these particular four are among some of the biggest in the world. In particular, Slayer’s “Raining Blood” is known as one of the biggest thrash anthems.

The Roots formed in 1986 and are considered to be one of the first legitimate hip-hop bands. Incorporating elements of soul and progressive rap into their repertoire, they became hugely popular and also became the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, after also supporting Jimmy Fallon’s other show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Since their formation in 1981, Metallica has released a staggering 11 studio albums, including 72 Seasons, which was released in 2023.

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