METALLICA played the first of two acoustic performances last night (Saturday, October 27) at the 21st annual Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. The group's setlist was as follows:

01. I Just Want To Celebrate (RARE EARTH)
02. Please Don't Judas Me (NAZARETH)
03. Only Happy When It Rains (GARBAGE)
04. Brothers In Arms (DIRE STRAITS)
05. Disposable Hereos
06. All Within My Hands
07. Turn The Page (BOB SEGER)
08. Nothing Else Matters

In his review of last night's concert, Shay Quillen of The Mercury News wrote, "The metal superstars, performing their only U.S. show of the year in front of an audience plentifully stocked with die-hard fans of the band, sat down on their stools and prompted jaws to drop throughout the amphitheater by opening with the 1971 Motown hit 'I Just Want to Celebrate'.

"'Bridge School shocker,' said singer-guitarist James Hetfield as the song concluded. 'METALLICA goes acoustic and funk.' But that wasn't the half of it. They followed that curveball with a wildly eclectic trio of covers — NAZARETH ('Please Don't Judas Me'), GARBAGE ('I'm Only Happy When It Rains') and DIRE STRAITS ('Brothers in Arms') — before finally tackling a couple of METALLICA songs, 'Disposable Heroes' and 'All Within My Hands'. The band's familiar cover of BOB SEGER's 'Turn the Page' followed, before the band wrapped up the set and the first day with its own 'Nothing Else Matters' about 20 minutes after midnight.

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"The combination baffled Bridge School regulars while it frustrated the METALLICA faithful. The band would have been better served by picking just one of the covers — ideally 'Brothers in Arms', which featured some nice guitar work from Kirk Hammett — and using the remaining time to explore more METALLICA material in the stripped-down acoustic setting. Hetfield's interpretive singing is not the band's strong suit."

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told in a new interview that the band's upcoming album will be "heavier" yet more "melodic" than 2003's controversial "St. Anger". Ulrich explained, "Whereas 'St. Anger' was an exercise in over-pummeling the listener, these new songs echo some of our stuff from the '80s — long, epic journeys through different musical landscapes, heavier, but a lot more melodic." When asked whether the new songs will be shorter, in the four-to-five minute range, Ulrich said, "Well, the most of the intros are four to five minutes. I don't know — METALLICA and short songs just don't go that well together."

Although none of the songs have official titles yet, Ulrich revealed that some of the "silly" working titles included "19", "10", "German Soup", "Glass Cow" and "Black Squirrel". Ulrich said the names "relate to where the idea came from, like Glasgow, Scotland became 'Glass Cow'. And when we don't have anything clever to call it, we just call it a number."

The new METALLICA album is tentatively due out in February of 2008.

Watch fan-filmed video footage of METALLICA performing at last night's Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California:

"I Just Want To Celebrate" (RARE EARTH):

"Nothing Else Matters":


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