Metallica hits 30

When Metallica was headlining its recent Big Four show in New York’s Yankee Stadium, word got out that the band would be celebrating its 30th anniversary in San Francisco.

Yes, the band performed in the town that proudly adopted Metallica as its own, with five special shows at the Fillmore that included special guests and surprises. (Tickets were only available to fan club members).

James Hetfield told Pulse of Radio these gigs were “a fan celebration…We’re constantly wanting to give to the fans what they don’t normally get from some other band or some other connection.”

As reported on Blabbermouth, special guests for the first show, which took place on December 5, included former bassist Jason Newsted, Sean Harris and Brian Tatler from the band Diamond Head, who of course were a big Metallica influence, Biff Byford from Saxon, another big influence on the band, Apocalyptica, a metal band that plays with cellos, and John Marshall, who filled in for Hetfield on guitar when James broke his arm skateboarding, and again when James got burned in a pyro accident in 1992.

The show was MC’d by comedian Jim Bruer, and 86-year-old Ray Burton, father of Cliff Burton, was also in attendance. This was also not a typical Metallica set list as they opened with The Call of Ktulu (did they ever do this live?), followed by the full version of No Remorse, and other goodies included Leper Messiah, Hate Train, a song from the Death Magnetic sessions that didn’t make the album, Robert Trujillo playing Cliff’s epic bass solos (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth, Harvester of Sorrow and Damage, Inc. with Newsted, a cover of Saxon’s Motorcycle Man with Byford, and four Diamond Head covers in a row, including Am I Evil? With Harris and Tatler. Last song of the night was Seek and Destroy, with everyone joining in.

Along with Metallica celebrating its anniversary, there are also reports the band will kick off work on their next album in 2012, and as we’ve reported on TG, they will headline The Download Festival in the UK on June 9, 2012, where Metallica is slated to play the Black album in its entirety.