Before the show, Metallica's Pyro Technician told the band that the Pyro is going to be on the outside wings of the stage during the song "Fade to Black". However, he failed to inform the band that this is in addition to the Pyro already in place. During the song "Fade To Black", when Kirk was playing the intro solo, pyrotechnics burned James Hetfield. In the VH1: Behind The Music Metallica James said "During Fade to Black, I'm up there, playing the part, and these colored flames are going off. I'm a little confused on where I should be: I walked forward, I walked back. The pyro guy doesn't see me that I've walked back out there, (makes explosion noise), a big colored flame goes right up under me. And instantly, you know, I squint and turn". Jason later said he was like "the Toxic Avenger". Kirk came over and said "Are you okay?" Kirk said James just raised his hand, he was shaking and raised his hand. Kirk said "I could literally see the skin bubbling". Lars came over and tried to help James get on his feet. When someone tried to help him a security guard bumped into his burn, James later recalled that he punched that guard "right in the nuts". Lars later came up on the microphone and said "Sorry everybody, there was an incident with the pyrotechnics, unfortunately James is on his way to the hospital, we'll be back next year, sorry Montreal, you know Metallica always keeps their promise". Metallica really did return that following year in 1993. The tour manager at the time, Tony Smith, later said on VH1: Behind The Music: Metallica that they had to cut off his rings and other stuff on his hands. The tour later continued in Phoenix, AZ.
Axl Rose and the mayhem after...
After the incident, Axl Rose threw a fit and said they wouldn't go on until their scheduled time. Jason later recalled that when he went into Axl's room, he said every band member was drinking wine or beer. In the mayhem that followed eight concert-goers and eleven police officers were injured. People were turning cars over and setting fires, destroying windows, and trying to fight the police. Many concert-goers were mad and started a riot. The whole thing was later captured on A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica.