Metallica treated the 1,200 lucky fans who found their way inside the Fillmore in San Francisco Monday (Dec. 5) to a memorable night as the band kicked off its 30th anniversary celebration with the first of four special concerts at the legendary venue. Monday's 20-song set offeried few hits but plenty in the way of of rarities and surprises.

With tickets sold to Metallica fan club holders only at just $6 a pop, or all four shows for $19.81 (that's in tribute to the year the band formed), it was obviously the hottest ticket in town. Fans traveled from all over the country -- and most likely, the world -- to attend the opening night gig.

The set kicked off with the instrumental 'The Call of Ktulu' off 'Ride the Lightning' and never let up over the course of nearly three hours, touching on previously unplayed tunes ('Carpe Diem Baby' off 'ReLoad' and the unreleased 'Hate Train') and covers of songs by Nazareth, Saxon and Diamond Head (four Diamond Head tunes were performed with Sean Harris and Brian Tatler from that band.)

The Finnish cello act Apocalyptica joined Metallica onstage for 'No Leaf Clover' and 'One.' Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted rejoined his mates to run through 'Harvester of Sorrow' and 'Damage Inc.' midway through the set, and later returned for the final encore, 'Seek & Destroy.'

With Monday's show done and three more to go on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, expect even more rarities, special guests and other surprises. Recordings of all four concerts will soon be available here.

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