WATCH: Metallica Perform Rare Song Live

Metallica's James Hetfield At SXSW '09 / Photo: Matt Kiser
David Marchese

Someone's head exploded at a Metallica concert in Tampa, Florida, Saturday night. Well, we can't be sure about that, but hearing the band play "Through the Never" -- originally found on their self-titled 1991 blockbuster -- for the first time in 16 years must've been a mindblowing experience for the thousands of fans in attendance at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Speaking from the stage, frontman James Hetfield made sure everyone understood they were about to have a Halley's Comet moment. "Here's a song we haven't played for 100 years," he said, standing spotlit in the middle of the stage, dressed all in black and holding a white electric guitar, "Actually, I think it's sixteen years -- older than you."

In truth, there's probably a reason the band has kept "Through the Never" in the closet for so long.

With its basic palm-muted power chord riffing and barked vocal, the song, to use a favorite Lars Ulrich phrase, is a bit "stock" Metallica. It's a straight-up headbanger, no more, no more less.

Still, it's nice to see James, Kirk, Lars, and Rob digging past "Black Album" mainstays like "Enter Sandman" and "Sad but True" -- and renewing the hope that "Low Man's Lyric" will get an airing before the tour wraps up in December.

Our fingers are crossed.

WATCH: Metallica, "Through The Never"

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