Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted reunited with the band at a bizarre 30th anniversary celebration in San Francisco, California on Monday night (05Dec11).
The marathon six-hour celebration featured tribute performances, game shows and taped celebrity messages, including one from the members of U2, who poked fun at the hosts' Some Kind of Monster documentary by pretending they were at a group therapy session.
There was a sombre moment when frontman James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett welcomed late bassist Cliff Burton's father, Ray, to the stage.
Burton was killed in a freak tourbus accident in Sweden in 1986.
The band then took over for a three-hour set with Hetfield threatening, "This is our party. We're headlining... The doors are locked. You can’t escape."
The heavy rockers were joined onstage by a series of guests including Hammett's high school pal and occasional Hetfield stand-in John Marshall, members of Diamond Head and Saxon frontman Biff Byford, who headlined Metallica's second-ever show in Los Angeles.
But it was Newsted's appearance that wowed the fans. Introduced by Hetfield as "someone who lived with us, and toured with us and did stuff with us for 14 years," the bass player performed Harvester of Sorrow and Damage Inc. alongside his replacement, current bassist Robert Trujillo.
Fans had to win a lottery to get tickets for the event at the Fillmore, which was decorated with band artwork and memorabilia, and Hetfield closed the celebration by thanking them for their dedication, saying, "We feel very grateful."