Metallica played a surprise show at a small club in their hometown of San Francisco last night, much to the obvious delight of all 150 patrons. Producer Bob Rock played bass for the performance — the band’s first in two years — filling the vacancy created by the departure of Jason Newsted last year.
According to a spokesperson for Rock, the producer himself called up the club, Kimo’s, to ask to take advantage of the room’s seventy-five-dollar pay-to-play policy. When the club’s owner asked the name of the band, Rock, off the top of his head, said “Spun.”
According to a post on Metallica’s Web site, when the group, billed as an opening act, began loading its equipment, the bartender was heard to say, “Damn, I have not seen that much gear being loaded in to this place before.” At the end of the night, he still seemed unaware of the band’s true identity.
The group — Rock, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett — hit the stage at 11 p.m., introducing themselves as “Bob’s band.” They kicked off the set with four Ramones songs — “Commando,” “Today Your Love Tomorrow the World,” “53rd and 3rd” and “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.” The band has recorded these songs for possible inclusion on a Ramones tribute album being organized by Johnny Ramone and Rob Zombie.
The forty-minute-set also included older Metallica songs “Hit the Lights,” “Leper Messiah,” “No Remorse,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “I Disappear” as well as the gig-ending cover of the Misfits’ “Die, Die My Darling.” The band also debuted one new song, which they described on their site as “heavy.”
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According to Rock’s spokesperson, at the end of the night, the club manager did hit the band up for the seventy-five dollars.
Although Rock has been playing all the bass parts on Metallica’s in-progress new album, he is not interested in touring, and thus the hunt for a Newsted replacement will begin in earnest once recording is done.