Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


10 Times Metal Bands Needed A Last-Minute Replacement

And they nailed it!


Shit happens on tour. Whether a musician has a medical emergency or freaks out over bad catering, bands have been forced to smuggle last-minute replacements onstage for an emergency gig.

Rob Halford singing for Black Sabbath? Dave Lombardo drumming for Metallica? It's happened… and only a small number of fans get to boast that they saw it live. Check out these last-minute replacements who absolutely crushed it when another band needed them.

Rob Halford Sings for Black Sabbath

Judas Priest's legendary vocalist has filled in for both Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio. In 1992, when Dio apparently didn't want to open for Ozzy's solo band, Halford accepted a two-night invite to sing for Black Sabbath. Over a decade later, when Ozzy was back in Sabbath, Rob Halford filled in for the Prince of Darkness at an Ozzfest gig after Osbourne was diagnosed with bronchitis. Needless to say, Halford was perfection.

Dave Lombardo and Joey Jordison Drum for Metallica

At the 2004 Download Festival, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich reportedly suffered an anxiety attack before the gig. Slayer and Slipknot were onsite for the fest, which meant both Dave Lombardo and Joey Jordison were summoned to Metallica's practice space for a last-minute rehearsal. Both Lombardo and Jordison were phenomenal, but there's just something about Lombardo playing “Battery” that hits like a ton of bricks.

Axl Rose Sings for AC/DC

This was the resurrection of Axl Rose. For many years after the classic Guns N' Roses lineup disbanded, Rose sang like a shell of his former self, but when he was called to take over vocals for an ailing Brian Johnson, the Sunset Strip legend reappeared. The GN'R siren sounded incredible with AC/DC and the quality of his performances carried over to Guns N' Roses' historic reunion. 

Phil Demmel Shreds for Slayer

Gary Holt was the perfect replacement for Jeff Hanneman, and for one leg of Slayer's 2018 European tour, Phil Demmel was the perfect replacement for Holt. Holt unfortunately had to rush home mid-tour to be with his dying father, so the Machine Head / Vio-lence veteran learned a legendary setlist of thrash anthems. He nailed it, and Demmel later credited Slayer with giving him his confidence back. 

Joe Satriani Shreds for Deep Purple

Deep Purple were left in a bind when Ritchie Blackmore walked out after a show on Nov. 17, 1993. The band reached out to guitar great Joe Satriani, who initially declined the offer before ultimately saying yes, joining the iconic band for the remainder of their 1993/1994 tour. Satch was asked to join Deep Purple full-time, but instead chose to serve the fan base he'd already cultivated. 

Alissa White-Gluz and Elyze Ryd Sing for Nightwish

Back in 2012, then-Agonist vocalist Alissa White-Gluz and Amaranthe singer Elize Ryd launched a Herculean (or Xenan) effort to cover for Nightwish's Anette Olzon. When Olzon was rushed to the hospital right before a show in Denver, White-Gluz and Ryd had just minutes to prepare to go onstage with the symphonic metal giants. Luckily, Ryd knew plenty of Nightwish songs thanks to her auditioning for the band in the 2000s. White-Gluz knew almost no Nightwish at all, but with the help of some lyric sheets, she killed it anyway. 

Tye Trujillo Plays Bass for Korn

It was truly epic when Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo's son made his debut with Korn at just 12 years old. After bassist Fieldy sat out part of Korn's 2017 tour, Tye Trujillo became an overnight metal superstar by performing at a level well beyond his years. Like his father, Tye proved to be a natural performer with nerves of steel, killing it onstage with the nü-metal greats.

Danny Carey Plays Drums for Primus

Talk about a monster fill-in. Tool's Danny Carey can probably play any drum part on Earth, but in 2014 he proved that he could suck with Primus. Carey jumped in on drums after Tim Alexander suffered a heart attack, playing three shows with the kings of weird in Chicago and Denver. Primus even jammed a mashup of “My Name Is Mud” with Tool's “Aenima.” 

Randy Blythe Screams for Eyehategod

After an ailing Mike ‘IX' Williams was unable to perform on a 2016 Eyehategod tour, Lamb of God's Randy Blythe stepped in to scream for the New Orleans legends. According to Williams, Blythe “used to beg” Eyehategod to sing one of their songs when the band would visit Richmond, Va. Of course, Blythe did a stellar job on the mic, just like when he teamed up with the Bad Brains to help H.R. with the band's faster cuts.

Bill Robinson Screams for Suffocation

Decrepit Birth's Bill Robinson got to sub in for one of his mentors in 2012. After Suffocation's Frank Mullen had to pull out of the 2012 Obscene Extreme Festival to attend to a family issue, Robinson lent his vicious vocal cords to the brutal death metal pioneers. Frank the Tank was surely missed, but Robinson made sure the crowd got their money's worth.

Show Comments / Reactions

You May Also Like

Tour Dates

Including their first-ever Mexico City headliner.

Latest News

"There was like three or four songs right in a row. I was just like, 'This is brutal, man.'"