Metallica paid tribute to their late bassist Cliff Burton with a rare performance of ‘Orion’ on Saturday night (10th February).
Returning to the stage for their encore at Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy, the metal monoliths launched into the eight-minute ‘Orion’ instrumental on what would have been Cliff’s 56th birthday.
Cliff co-penned the penultimate ‘Master of Puppets’ track with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich back in 1985. The band’s last performance of the track was at the Royal Arena, Copenhagen on 7th February 2017.
Sharing a one-minute clip of the performance on Twitter, Lars wrote: “Threw in Orion tonight for Cliff.. the first time in almost a year. A very special moment. Thank you Turin for your generosity and warm vibes.”
Threw in Orion tonight for Cliff.. the first time in almost a year. A very special moment. Thank you Turin for your generosity and warm vibes. ?? #wanna #metinturin #cliffburton pic.twitter.com/v0HjEZ2atT— Lars Ulrich (@larsulrich) February 11, 2018
Metallica also shared a photo of Cliff earlier on Saturday, writing: “Happy Birthday, Cliff. We miss you. #CliffBurtonDay”
As reported last week, Saturday was proclaimed Cliff Burton Day in his birthplace of Castro Valley, California following an online petition from fans.
Commenting on the honour, Cliff’s 93-year-old dad Ray Burton told East Bay Times his late son would have loved it.
“I do not have a moment of doubt that, if Cliff were alive, he would have had a huge smile on his face about receiving this proclamation,” Ray said. “Feb. 10 has always been a very special day for me and I am honoured to now share this day with everyone in Castro Valley."
An additional quote from Cliff’s family reads: "It’s official! February 10th is now Cliff Burton Day in Castro Valley! Thank you to Roberto Souza for starting this petition and following it through to the end. Thank you to all of the fans from the Bay Area and around the world who voted. We are honoured."