“It feels like just yesterday that we were hitting the stage playing our first show at Radio City in Anaheim, CA, in the spring of 1982!” they wrote in a letter to fans. “It’s been a nutty ride and even though most of the time it feels like we’re just getting started, we’re excited to celebrate the past four decades with you. What better way to mark this milestone than to invite the worldwide Metallica Family to join us in our hometown of San Francisco, CA.”
They haven’t announced specific details of the shows yet, but they’ll have a very hard time topping their December 2011 30th-anniversary concerts that took place across four nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Not only did they perform deep cuts that hadn’t been in their set for years; they also invited special guests like Lou Reed, Ozzy Osbourne, Saxon’s Biff Byford, Kid Rock, Marianne Faithful, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington, and the band Mercyful Fate — reunited onstage for the first time since 1993 — to help them celebrate.
They also invited back former members Jason Newsted, Dave Mustaine, and Ron McGovney along with guitarists Lloyd Grant and Hugh Tanner, two collaborators from their formative years. The four-night stand ended on December 10th, 2011, with an incredible jam on “Seek and Destroy” featuring single living member of Metallica, past or present, along with Grant, Tanner, and Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda. Check out video of it right here.
What can they possibly do at the 40th to surpass that? A complete performance of the 1982 No Life ‘Til Leather EP by the original four-piece of James Hetfield, Lars Ulruch, Mustaine, and McGovney? A recreation of a 1991 Black Album show with Jason Newsted? A re-staging of key Some Kind of Monster scenes with special guest Phil Towle? All of these seem quite unlikely, but let’s at least hope they once again invite Dave Mustaine to be a part of this. Celebrating the band’s early days without him wouldn’t feel right.