WRIGLEYVILLE — It was a “Metallica emergency” at The Metro.
Fans scrambled to the legendary venue Monday afternoon after the Hall of Fame metal band announced they were playing a surprise gig there later that night.
The last time Metallica played Chicago, 60,000 people saw them rock Soldier Field in 2017. On Monday night, just about 1,000 people got coveted wristbands to get inside The Metro to Metallica’s first show there in 38 years.
They didn’t disappoint, tearing through a set list that included “Master of Puppets,” “Sad But True,” For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Ride the Lightning,” “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” “Fade to Black,” “Hardwired,” “Fuel” and “Seek & Destroy.”
When word began to spread about the show — which cost just $20 — fans began flocking to North Clark Street.
Beth Morrissey saw a Reddit post and alerted her friends Rachel Kaiser and Dave O’Callaghan.
“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,” Morrissey said.
The line quickly wrapped around the venue’s entire block, snaking from Clark to Racine to Waveland and back to Clark. But Kaiser, O’Callaghan and Morrissey snagged wristbands to get in.
Kaiser 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.”
It was the second small venue show in the past week for Metallica as they emerge from months of pandemic cancellations. 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 were coming to The Metro.
“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.
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