Metallica supplied "Fuel" for the Oakland Raiders' playoff victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, playing a surprise show in the parking lot of Oakland's Network Associates Coliseum.
The band pulled up on flatbed truck around noon and performed an
ear-blasting six-song set in front of a sign bearing a handwritten Metallica logo, a drawing of a skull and crossbones, and an American flag. Frontman James Hetfield, wearing running back John Ritchie's #40 Raiders jersey, greeted the crowd and shouted, "We're gonna get inside and let the Titans know who's boss! Are you ready?"
Metallica, who were invited by the Raiders, began their set with "Fuel," from 1997's Reload, before digging deeper into their catalog. Guitarist Kirk Hammett, wearing wide receiver Jerry Rice's #80 jersey, punctuated Hetfield's stoic riffs with complimentary phrases and fleet-fingered solos.
In what could have been the day's theme song, the band barreled through "Seek & Destroy," from 1983's Kill 'Em All. Two songs were culled from 1986's Master of Puppets — the title track and "Battery" — and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" filled the obligation to 1984's Ride the Lightning. The only cut from Metallica's most popular album, 1991's Metallica, was "Sad But True."
Metallica were joined on bass by Bob Rock, who is producing the band's next album, due in June. Rock has been playing bass with them in the studio, too, but both he and Metallica have said he will not join full-time. The band has auditioned several players to replace Jason Newsted, but so far they have not announced a decision.
"Thank you friends, we had a f---in' blast out there," Hetfield said as the final cymbal rolls of "Battery" echoed through the parking lot. "Enjoy the game, man. Kick ass, Raiders."
And they did.