Jim Breuer on Opening Up for Metallica: “The greatest gig I’ve ever done in my life.”
Jim Breuer is one of comedy’s biggest metal fans, so when he was able to open for Metallica on the second North American leg of their “Worldwired” tour, it was a big deal for the comedian.
Breuer recently appeared on WMMR’s Preston & Steve Show where he detailed the experience and his meeting with Lars Ulrich that eventually led to him getting the opening gig:
“I can honestly say that out of everything I’ve done in life, that was hands-down that greatest gig I’ve ever done in my life…I flew out to see Lars [Ulrich]…I get my day with him. I go to his house and we’re over-looking the [San Francisco] bay. I got to wait in this big top floor of his home, this big castle…And he comes up, and this is exactly what he said and I’ll never forget it, ‘[impersonating Lars] Here’s the deal: No matter how many times we get bands [to open for us], nobody goes to see the bands. It’s a bummer. It’s a bummer for the bands, and it’s a bummer for us. So, what we’re looking for is a ‘fan experience.’
And he goes, ‘You’ve known the band for a long time, but the most important thing is you don’t have to be funny. Tell stories…Get a DJ, play songs. It’s your thing. Do what you want…He said, ‘Keep in mind that when you’re out there, you might not have more than 1,000 people out there [in the crowd] when you’re out there.’ I didn’t think of that. I’m thinking I’m walking out, ‘Hey! It’s 10,000 people! What’s up?!’ And I can honestly say by show two, there were 10,000 people out there…Metallica’s agenda was, yes, to entertain the fans, but [they said], ‘We want our fans to get to know Jim Breuer. We love you. We want everyone else to start to know who you are.'”
Breuer’s time on the road with Metallica was a massive success, but when there were talks about Breuer opening for the band in Europe, the comedian explained his act might not translate well to the European crowds:
“Two days before the tour ended, one of the workers came up to me and said, ‘Lars would like to see you in the food room.’ I go in [the food room], and it’s all black curtains, and he’s eating like a king and he goes, ‘[impersonating Lars] Sit down. We haven’t seen each other [in a while.] He then asks, ‘Do you think [your act] would work in an arena, like a stadium in Europe. And I went, ‘Oh, wow…listen man…the ego in me would go, ‘Hell yeah!’ But listen, no. It’s not going to happen.
…By show eight on the [U.S.] tour, I was going in the crowd. I was like, ‘Oh! I can go in the crowd and pick people out and have a field day. [I could say] Turn on the lights in section 201. I fear none of you!’ That was huge. I can’t do that in Europe after Ghost has played for 45 minutes, and [the crowd’s] from Belgium and they’ve been drunk since October of last year.”
This interview can be heard in its entirety below.
Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.