The four members of Metallica showed how closely they've grown together over the years when they paused a concert in Brazil for a group hug.
The sweet moment came about before the band performed "Sad But True" last Thursday. Hetfield referred to the previous weekend's viral story about a woman going into labor and giving birth at the band's Curitiba show and spun it into a monologue about how he'd been feeling down before taking the stage that night before 60,000 fans at Estádio do Mineirão.
"I've gotta tell you, I wasn't feeling very good before I came out here," he admitted. "Feeling a bit insecure, like I'm an old guy, I can't play anymore, all this bulls--t that I tell myself in my head. So I talked to these guys, and they helped me — as simple as that. They gave me a hug and said, 'Hey, if you're struggling on stage, we've got your back.' And I tell you, it means the world to me."
The comment prompted drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo to approach Hetfield at the front of the stage and wrap their arms around them as the crowd cheered.
After sharing an extra hug with co-founder Ulrich, Hetfield returned to the mic.
"And seeing you out there, I am not alone," he continued. "I am not alone, and neither are you."
The band launched into Black Album classic "Sad But True." Watch fan-filmed video of the sweet moment via the player below!
Hetfield has been more forthright about his struggles with depression and alcoholism since Metallica cancelled an Australian tour in 2019 so he could return to rehab.
While the band was disappointed to put off their shows Down Under for what turned out to be years, Ulrich, Hammett and Trujillo expressed full support for Hetfield's commitment to his well-being.
"Being on the road can be very challenging," Trujillo noted the following summer, "and I would imagine for James, to get up there in front of all those people and have to be 'on' [while] your family's not with you and all these things are going on, it builds up."