Metallica’s surprise show at small San Francisco club sells out in minutes

James Hetfield (left) and Kirk Hammett of Metallica at the Outside Lands music festival in 2017. Photo: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle

A surprise Metallica concert at the Independent in San Francisco sold out minutes after the band announced the show on Thursday, September 16.

Tickets for the concert at the 500-seat club that same night were $ 19.81 – commemorating the group’s year of formation – and were only available at the venue’s box office for cash. Proof of vaccination is required for entry and participants are required to wear masks at all times, except when actively drinking.

In July, Metallica revealed that it will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a pair of shows in its hometown for members of its fan club on December 17 and 19 at the Chase Center in San Francisco. But tickets for these shows are only available to registered members of the Metallica Fifth Member’s fan club through a lottery system.

Metallica’s last performance in her hometown was in September 2019, when he performed with the San Francisco Symphony at the grand opening concert at the home of the Golden State Warriors.

“As hard to believe, the group will turn the big 4-0 in October,” Metallica said in a statement. “It’s a crazy thing to make up your own mind. … It’s as if yesterday we took the stage to play our first show at Radio City in Anaheim, California, in the spring of 1982!

The group was formed in Los Angeles by singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. on October 28, 1981, before moving to the Bay Area to record his 1983 debut album, “Kill ‘Em All”, featuring lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Cliff Burton join the band. Burton died in a bus crash in 1986.

The band has since released 10 studio recordings and sold over 125 million albums worldwide, becoming one of the most successful bands of all time.

“A lot has happened since Lars and James reunited in the fall of 81 … nearly 2,000 concerts across seven continents, mind-blowing hits and crazy off-road adventures,” the statement continued. “It’s been a wild ride and although most of the time it feels like we are just getting started, we are delighted to be celebrating the past four decades with you.”

Metallica is also celebrating the 30th anniversary this year of their eponymous 1991 fifth album, known as “The Black Album,” with a box set that includes a remastered version of the Bay Area group’s # 1 debut album in multiple formats, including a selection of live recordings and DVDs, a hardcover book, lyrics sheets and various other ephemera from the blockbuster era.

Members of Metallica, left to right, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo. Photo: Herring & Herring

The new offers were published via the group’s Blackened Recordings label on September 10, with a 53-track tribute set titled “The Metallica Blacklist” which features covers of songs from “The Black Album” by a large group of artists including indie rockers St. Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers and Mac DeMarco, jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, reggaeton singer J. Balvin and many more .

In addition to the Chase Center concerts, Metallica is expected to headline two nights of the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, which runs October 7-10.

The group had planned to headlining five hard rock music festivals in 2020, the only live dates metal icons were scheduled to play last year. Before the pandemic, the Bay Area rock group canceled two of those appearances to allow Hetfield to continue his treatment after going to rehab.

For more information on anniversary show tickets, visit

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Corina C. Butler

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