“We were made to do this.”
There was no discussion of James Hetfield’s statement when he declared it to the more than 18,000 fans ahead of the first night of Metallica’s 40th anniversary party on Friday, December 17. The Chase Center in San Francisco was packed to the brim with an audience consisting solely of members of Metallica’s fan club, representing cities, states and countries from around the world.
To celebrate their 40 years together as a band, Metallica planned a takeover of their hometown, and Friday night was their first of two sold-out performances at Chase Center. The last time the guys played at that venue was with The San Francisco Symphony for their S&M2 shows in 2019, which ended up being their last shows before the coronavirus pandemic cut live music for the better part of 18 months.
Their return to the Bay Area arena was energetic and fully focused on the band’s history; concert footage videos, interviews and photos played between songs for the nearly two-hour set. Hetfield didn’t spend much time talking to the audience and instead guided fans through 16 songs that spanned their entire studio discography.
Unlike the 30th anniversary shows at the Fillmore Theater a decade ago, there were no special guests, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t surprises.
Fans were greeted early in the set with .’s rarely played “Trapped Under Ice” Ride the lightning, and Metallica delivered the live debut of Reloadis “Fixxxer.” One of the highlights of the evening came after a video played featuring Cliff Burton performing live and an interview with Jason Newsted. While the footage was being wrapped, the band tore into an unforgettable, and also rare, rendition of “Orion” from Puppeteer.
Hardwired… to self-destructA thrasher’s behemoth “Spit Out the Bone” closed out the night, and much to the surprise of nearly everyone in the arena, there was no encore. However, Hetfield and the company promised they had a lot more to offer fans as they have another party night planned for Sunday, December 19. Like Friday’s concert, fans can livestream the second anniversary show via The Coda Collection.
While fans might have been expecting more outspoken treats throughout the evening – the opening act featuring comedian Dean Delray and DJ Lord from Public Enemy was not met with much enthusiasm by the crowd – there was no doubt this was a party the way only Metallica could throw.
Metallica Set List – December 17, 2021 at The Chase Center in San Francisco, California
1. “Touch the Lights”
2. “Crawling Death”
3. “Caught Under Ice”
4. “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”
6. “The Shortest Straw”
8. “Sad But True”
9. “Nothing Else Matters”
10. “King Nothing”
11. “Fixxxer” (Live Debut)
12. “Breadfan” (Budgie Cover)
13. “No Clover”
15. “The Day That Never Comes”
16. “Spit out the bone”
Photos from Metallica’s 40th Anniversary Show
Photos from Metallica’s first 40th anniversary show at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Metallica: A Photo Timeline of Their Remarkable Career