March 14, 1982. A new band that had made their recording debut just weeks earlier on the very first “Metal Massacre” compilation (on which they were credited as Mettallica) took the stage at Radio City in Anaheim, California for their very first live show. At the time I’m sure James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Dave Mustaine, and Ron McGovney were unaware that they were making music history, realizing that one day “Metallica” would become one of the biggest, and most influential bands in the world.
There was nothing from the show that really stood out at the time. Looking back now though there certainly is. It’s interesting that James was just a frontman, he had not started playing rhythm guitar yet, leaving Dave Mustaine to handle all of the guitar parts. Even Dave had a blunder during the first song when he broke one of his guitar strings, an embarrassing moment in front of the crowd of about 200 people (mostly the bands friends from school). Also the band hadn’t truly developed as songwriters yet as they only played two original songs, “Hit The Lights” and “Jump Into The Fire”. The rest of the songs (as listed below) were all covers including four Diamond Head songs.
Even with the blunders, and obvious nervousness from playing for the first time in front of so many people, this show would become a high point for the original lineup. Before the end of the year James was now playing rhythm guitar, the band would replace bass player Ron McGovney with Cliff Burton, and relocate to San Francisco. The following year they would get ready to record their debut album in New York, and fire Dave Mustaine, replacing him with Kirk Hammett. Weeks later they would release “Kill Em’ All” and the rest as they say is Heavy Metal History..
Setist Of Metallica’s First Ever Show :
1. “Hit the Lights”
2. “Blitzkrieg (Blitzkrieg cover)
3. “Helpless” (Diamond Head cover)
4. “Jump in the Fire”
5. “Let it Loose” (Savage cover)
6. “Sucking My Love” (Diamond Head cover)
7. “Am I Evil?” (Diamond Head cover)
8. “The Prince” (Diamond Head cover)
9. “Killing Time” (Sweet Savage cover)