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Metallica’s 30th Anniversary Celebration Is A Triumph

December 6, 2011

The Fillmore in San Francisco has hosted many timeless concerts over the years, but now it’s storied walls are experiencing a new type of live music celebration.

Fans eagerly wait in line outside San Francisco's Fillmore Theater Monday evening.

Heavy-metal trailblazers Metallica hosted the first of their four 30th anniversary celebration events Monday night, in a spectacular event that even featured a cello ensemble covering Metallica classics. Easily put, this was a special arrangement from the band to the fans, unlike anything ever seen before.

To exemplify how special this event was, audience members had to win a fan club lottery for tickets, drawing Metallica die-hards from as far as Finland. The rewards were fruitful though, as former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted made an appearance and mingled with fans, comedian Jim Breuer led a series of game shows such as “Name That Riff” and a Metallica museum was erected, showcasing the old concert posters, instruments and other artwork.

It was Breuer who aptly described the night to fans, saying “There’s no other band in the world, not the Rolling Stones, not Van Halen, that would treat their fans the way you’re being treated tonight.”

New Orleans’ own The Soul Rebels rocked in big band fashion, marching onto the stage blasting Metallica songs in brass. Music industry friends, such as Kid Rock, Slipknot and even U2, offered pre-recorded video congratulations, which were projected for all to watch on large screens.

As if all that wasn’t enough, James Hetfield promptly announced after three hours of fun, “This is our party. We’re headlining. We’re gonna play. The doors are locked. You can’t escape.” The band took to the stage for a three hour showcase of old classics, never-before-seen live songs, acoustic strip-downs and “Nothing Else Matters,” with the help of a hand-selected audience member who provided guitar support. Newsted even hopped on stage for two songs, “Harvester of Sorrow” and “Damage Inc.”

Metallica fans are arguably some of the most passionate and loyal out there. For the band to arrange a night like this is unprecedented in the lengthy history of the band-fan relationship. Hats off to Metallica.

Even after 30 years they are still conscious enough to recognize that this monster of a legend they have built revolves around and is given life to by those who listen and love it.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Paul C. Brownlee permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:33 am

    Just a note: Metallica has been doing special gigs/events for their fans for years. Most of them in the Bay Area.
    Here’s the short list:
    Record release party at the Cow Palace. FREE… Thousands attend.
    Rehearsal studio jam session/show for a lucky few.
    The live symphony shows at Berkeley
    I don’t even like the music but I’ve seen these guys since they were playing the Stone on Broadway in SF and doing late night DJ stints on KUSF!
    They have always supported their fans and in return their fans are DIEHARD! Hats off to these guys for having the balls to do what they love and bring their fans along with them for the ride!!

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