See Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Get Upset by Mrs. Smith in Epic Wah-Off

Back in January 2019, drag queen guitar virtuoso Mrs. Smith threw down the gauntlet to Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett, the revered shredder who is celebrated and at times mocked for his love of the wah-wah pedal. “I’m the No. 1 wah-wah abuser,” Mrs. Smith proclaimed in an interview on “The Mark Agnesi Show.” “I abuse the wah more than Kirk Hammett and I’ve challenged him multiple times to a wah-off. Why are you hiding behind your wah-wah pedal, Kirk Hammett?” Surprisingly, the Metallica lead guitarist took note of the challenge and replied quickly on Instagram: “Challenged received and accepted,” adding the hashtag “#wahoff.”

That hashtag came to life last night — Sunday, March 8th — in the seven-minute-long “Cry Baby Battle Royale.” The epic face-off, which went down at the Senate in Columbia, South Carolina, was the highlight of a performance by the Wedding Band, Hammett’s covers project also featuring Ugly Kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane and Metallica bass player Robert Trujillo. In the end, Mrs. Smith won in an upset, with Hammett conceding defeat: “I’ve just been out-wah’d,” he announced onstage. “A moment in history has just occurred.” The winner received a gold Cry Baby plaque cementing her status as “the new undisputed champion of the overuse of the Cry Baby wah-wah pedal.”

Ahead of the contest, shredmaster Joe Satriani, who gave guitar lessons to Hammett in the Eighties, had put his hat in the ring with Mrs. Smith. “This is the crux of what makes Mrs. Smith so funny,” he told Rolling Stone. “There’s this woman, who doesn’t look right, who’s doing this stuff in the wrong place, in a cabaret or on a street corner and yet is out-shredding the person who is totally dedicated to shredding, who’s got the pants and the hair and the right amp and the pointy guitar.”