Metallica shredder Kirk Hammett is well-known for his love — and, some would say, overuse — of the wah-wah pedal. His status as "No. 1 wah-wah abuser" was challenged by drag queen guitar virtuoso Mrs. Smith last night (Sunday, March 8th) in an epic, seven-minute-long "Cry Baby Battle Royale" wah-off. Held at the Senate in Columbia, South Carolina, the event also included a set by the Wedding Band, Hammett's covers project with his Metallica bandmate Robert Trujillo and Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whitfield Crane.
The wah-off — which saw Hammett and Mrs. Smith trading licks over Isaac Hayes's "Theme From Shaft" — concluded with the Metallica guitarist admitting defeat: "I've just been out-wah'd," he conceded. "A moment in history has just occurred." Mrs. Smith was awarded a gold Cry Baby plaque certifying her position as "the new undisputed champion of the overuse of the Cry Baby wah-wah pedal." "I learned it all from watching you," she told Hammett.
The "Cry Baby Battle Royale" was the culmination of a long-running back and forth between Mrs. Smith and Hammett, with the former first challenging the latter in early 2019. "I'm the No. 1 wah-wah abuser," she said in an interview on "The Mark Agnesi Show" at the time. "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?" Metallica's guitarist responded on Instagram: "Challenged received and accepted," with the hashtag "#wahoff."