In addition to making its first-ever visit this week to San Diego for the massive geek culture event known as Comic-Con, METALLICA also played a surprise show last night (Friday, July 19) at the Spreckels Theatre.
Writer Ryan J. Downey, who attended last night's concert, tells BLABBERMOUTH.NET: "Bradley Cooper, the Oscar-nominated star of 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'The Hangover' movies, spent the entire show rocking out (and playing air guitar) in one of the small theater's balconies. He was visibly excited by even just the intro to 'Blackened', jumping up and down as the familiar notes of the taped intro hit the sound system. Across from him, seated in the balcony in front of stage left, sat Rob Halford. He was nodding his head along to the tunes.
"Norman Reedus, who plays crossbow-wielding fan-favorite Daryl Dixon on 'The Walking Dead', was also in attendance. 'True Blood' werewolf Joe Manganiello posed for pictures with fans inside. Comedian and actor Brian Posehn, no stranger to comic books or heavy metal, took pictures with onlookers outside after the show, as well.
"People from Nuclear Blast (who once again has a booth at Comic-Con) and Century Media were at the show, plus Brian Balchack from IGNITE/INTO ANOTHER, Curtis Mead from SPLIT LIP/CHAMBERLAIN, probably more folks I didn't see.
"For a brief moment, Kirk [Hammett, METALLICA guitarist] got on drums and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] grabbed Kirk's guitar. Lars played a tiny bit of 'Am I Evil?' as the other dudes played along. Then Lars stuck Kirk's flying V over the crowd, a la 'Cliff 'Em All'. James joked about it being just like 'Chicago' again and Kirk wagged his finger and shook his head 'no' at Lars.
"And of course, James changed the lyric to 'scanning the scene at Comic-Con tonight!' in 'Seek And Destroy'."
The band's setlist was as follows:
01. Creeping Death
02. For Whom The Bell Tolls
04. Ride The Lightning
05. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
06. Sad But True
08. Master Of Puppets
10. Nothing Else Matters
11. Enter Sandman
12. Last Caress
13. Seek & Destroy
METALLICA appeared yesterday at the San Diego Convention Center for a panel and preview of their upcoming IMAX 3D movie, "Metallica Through The Never", which arrives in theaters this fall. The group was in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center at 6 p.m. PT, joined by the movie's director, Nimród Antal; the star of the film, Dane DeHaan; and producer Charlotte Huggins.
According to Billboard.com, Antal jokingly said he "had the most compromising photos of the band" in response to a question about how he got involved with the film, then added, "I was approached by Charlotte and she wanted to bring in a narrative element [to a concert film] and was looking for a collaborative partner. It seemed like a challenge."
He continued, "When fucking METALLICA calls you, you go."
Huggins added, "I sat down with [the band] and they immediately presented an idea, which included this amazing stage, so I thought it was really interesting. The idea was to do a narrative movie where a concert takes place."
DeHaan said: "I started listening to [the band] when I was working on 'The Place Beyond the Pines'. This was months before he saw the script to "Through The Never", which he says "was 15 pages of nothing but paragraphs and paragraphs of story, I didn't have any lines at all."
"Nimrod let me know what the film means to him," he added. "I go on this journey for a bag in the movie. And [the film] is about what you would go through for someone you love. And I got to hang out with METALLICA for three weeks!"
"Metallica Through The Never" will open on IMAX screens in the U.S. on September 27, with a wider release following on October 4.
Photo below courtesy of METALLICA's Facebook page