WRIGLEYVILLE — Metallica stunned their Chicago area fans by announcing a surprise Monday night show at The Metro, the second small venue show for the Hall of Fame heavy metal band in a week as they emerge from pandemic cancellations.
As word spread of the $20 concert just hours away, a line formed down Clark Street as fans tried to score tickets. The line wrapped around the historic venue’s entire block, snaking from Clark to Racine to Waveland and back to Clark.
Metallica, which is marking its 40th year together, played for just 500 people Thursday at San Francisco’s The Independent, a show that was also announced on the same day.
On their website Monday, the band said they are headed to Wrigleyville for the first show at the Metro in 38 years. Capacity is about 1,000. Proof of vaccination is required to get a wristband.
“THAT was way too much fun last week as we finally played in front of real live fans for the first time in over two years in our hometown of San Francisco. So why not do it again??” the band posted. “This time we’re in Chicago and we’ll be hitting the stage at the storied Metro on Clark Street tonight… our first time back there since 1983!!”
Fan Jason Krol took the early-morning train from South Bend Monday after hearing through the grapevine that his favorite band — who he has seen 44 times — would be playing in Wrigleyville.
Krol got to the Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., about 9 a.m. and was joined by dozens of other fans looking to seize a chance to see Metallica at a venue far smaller than the arenas and stadiums they have commanded for decades.
“I saw them at Webster Hall [capacity 1,500] in New York once, which was amazing, so I’m excited to see them in a more intimate space again,” Krol said.
Rachel Kaiser, who scored wristbands with two other friends Monday afternoon, teared up as she talked about how excited she was for the show.
“Metallica would never do this at the Metro, which is why it’s so exciting,” Kaiser said. “We’re going to see the best band in the world at the best venue. I can’t help but cry.”
Dave O’Callaghan, Kaiser’s friend, said the surprise show was “like getting to see the Beatles at Beat Kitchen.”
The two learned the secret show might be happening after their friend spotted a Reddit post hinting it could happen.
“It had a photo of people lining up down Clark street, so I called Dave and Rachel and was like ’You’ve got to get over there. It’s a Metallica emergency,” Beth Morrissey said.
The three friends said they were in “disbelief,” but quickly rushed to the venue to get in line for tickets.
“I’m ecstatic,” Kaiser said. “I left work to get here and now I’m taking the rest of the day off to see Metallica!”
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