During a recent Metallica Web chat, the band said that it would not tour with producer Bob Rock, who is playing bass with the group in the studio. That didn’t stop Rock from taking the stage with them Tuesday night during a surprise show at Kimo’s in San Francisco.
Metallica were billed as Spun for the small club gig, and after taking the stage, they introduced themselves by saying, “Hi, we are Bob’s band,” reported the group’s Web site.
The performance was frontman James Hetfield’s first with the band since coming out of rehab last December. He performed while seated, still recovering from recent neck surgery required because of damage accrued after years of onstage headbanging, the band’s publicist said.
The Spun set began with four Ramones covers: “Commando,” “Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World,” “53rd & 3rd” and “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.” These are just half of the Ramones songs Metallica have been rehearsing while they decide which track to record for the upcoming Ramones tribute album We’re a Happy Family (see: “Rob Zombie’s Ramones Tribute LP Just Waiting For Metallica”).
The 11-song concert featured other surprises, including a new song, which the band’s Web site described as “heavy, with a nice crunch to it.” Another eye-opener was the old-school track “Hit the Lights,” Metallica’s first professional recording, originally released on the 1982 compilation Metal Massacre, Vol. 1, and re-recorded for their 1983 debut album, Kill ‘Em All.
Metallica also played “I Disappear,” recorded in 2000 for the “Mission: Impossible 2” soundtrack, but none of the other originals performed were from anything recorded after 1986’s Master of Puppets. Even so, “Leper Messiah,” “No Remorse” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” were warmly received by the crowd. The show closed with a cover of The Misfits’ “Die, Die My Darling.”
Bob’s band is now back in the studio working on its next record. The sessions are being recorded by documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky.