Strangers Things tapped into a cultural zeitgeist when it first premiered in 2016, and despite delays between seasons, each one seems to steamroll right through when it arrives, leaving a trail of 1980s nostalgia in its wake. One of the most recent beneficiaries of this phenomenon is the band Metallica, whose song “Master of Puppets” soared to the top of the charts after having its shining moment in Stranger Things 4. And there’s no sign of fans getting over it, as evidenced by Metallica’s Eddie Munson tribute at Lollapalooza 2022.
Originally an alt-rock festival in the 1990s, Lollapoolza has morphed into a four-day music event, held in the height of summer, with lineups that run the gamut of stars. This year’s Lollapoolza featured everyone from BTS’ J-Hope and Dua Lipa to throwback acts like Green Day and Jane’s Addiction. In its heyday, Metallica would have been the closing act on a Saturday night prime lineup. However, its inclusion on Thursday’s opening day lineup held much more punch than one might have expected due to the recent Metallica revival via Stranger Things.
Metallica has always been professionally savvy, if not publicly so. (The band members may have made enemies of fans when they sued Napster back in the day, but they recognized the power of streaming — and the threat to their industry — years before everyone else caught on.) They also understand how much their recent cultural clout can be directly attributed to Stranger Things’ Eddie Munson’s love of their 1986 album and his deeply metal ending at the mouths of demo bats in the Upside Down.
Thus, their latest performance included a tribute to the character, and as video footage from the set shows, they went as hard as Munson would have wanted. The audience — and fans watching at home — ate it up.
Regular degular fans weren’t the only ones who got to appreciate it, either. Joseph Quinn, the actor who plays Eddie, attended Lollapalooza and met the band before the performance. He even jammed with them backstage.
According to Deadline, Quinn thanked the band members for licensing their song to the series for use in the scene. “Thank you so much for letting us use the track,” he told lead singer James Hetfield. Hetfield responded in kind: “Thanks for doing it justice.”
Hetfield admitted he had personal reasons for saying yes to letting the show use the track. He’s been a fan of the show since it debuted, and it’s a series his kids love too. “My kids and I, it’s been a bonding experience for us.”
All episodes of Stranger Things 1 through 4 are streaming on Netflix. Stranger Things 5, the show’s final season, is expected in 2024.