The same day late-Metallica bassist Cliff Burton's hometown celebrated the first-ever Cliff Burton Day, Metallica paid tribute to its low-end legend in Turin, Italy, with one of Burton's signature tracks, "Orion."
Originally released on Metallica's seminal Master of Puppets album in 1986, "Orion" is an example of Burton's classical influences pushing Metallica into uncharted territory. The song is one of heavy metal's most well-known instrumental tracks.
In a Tweet that included a clip of the performance, drummer Lars Ulrich wrote that the band threw in "Orion" as a tribute to Burton for his birthday, February 10.
Burton was 24 years old when he died in a bus crash in Sweden in 1986 while on tour with Metallica.
The bassist joined Metallica in 1982 and played on the band's first three albums. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Metallica in 2009.
Cliff Burton Day was established this year in Alameda County, California, where Burton grew up in Castro Valley. Metallica fan Robert Souza got more than 5,600 fans to sign an online petition to honor the bass guitar legend in his home county.
Metallica championed the cause and thanked the fans who got behind the initiative.
"We love that he remains so revered," said the band in a statement.
Burton's 93-year-old father, Ray, told the county supervisors that his sound would have appreciated the proclamation.
Ray Burton revealed last year that in the generous spirit of his son, he has been donating Metallica royalties he's received to music programs at Burton's former high school.
He says the money his son earned from Metallica has for decades helped send aspiring musicians from Castro Valley High School to college.
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