In case you're among the four Cream readers who haven't heard by now, last night Metallica put on an intimate surprise performance at The Basement in front of a crowd of fan club members, Grimey's staffers and a few lucky friends. The three decked-out tour buses parked on Alloway Street should have been a clue that this wasn't the latest indie buzz band, and the crowd of black-clad fans lined up outside was further evidence.
We waited outside while the band did their sound check, and even though it started to rain lightly, spirits couldn't have been higher. Around 7 p.m., after the band made their way back to the buses amid hearty cheers, the staff started checking people's passes and letting them in. One of the first things we noticed was a phalanx of Metro Nashville's finest, right outside the door. Seemed like a pretty natural thing...must be some cops here for crowd control, in case the word got out. (Surprisingly, the show's secret status must have been fairly well maintained, as no more than 50 or so uninvited guests waited outside for a glimpse of the band, and many of them were later allowed to listen from the smoking area behind the club. According to Basement co-owner Mike Grimes, a.k.a. Grimey, he was sweating all day fearing that word would get out and there would be a mob scene.)
(Many thanks to John Brassil for braving the front lines to get these photos.)