Unused ticket, METALLICA and MEGADETH @ San Fransisco Civic Auditorium, USA, December 31st 1985. ‘Master of Puppets’ live for the first time!!

Metallica + Megadeth + Exodus + Metal Church = Legendary thrash concert!
Metallica + Megadeth + Exodus + Metal Church = Legendary thrash concert!
Blue and beautiful ticket
Blue and beautiful ticket

If there was ever a gig I wished I could have been to in thrash metal history, it’s this one. Concert promotor Bill Graham had thrown fantastic new years eve shows since his beginning in 1965, and this time he pulled off a legendary line-up as far as metal music goes: Metallica, Megadeth, Metal Church and Exodus celebrated new years by tearing San Fransisco Civic Auditorium apart riff by riff this last evening of 1985. What a fuckin’ gig!

All these bands have/had some connection to Metallica. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth was of course the former lead guitarist of Metallica, replaced by Kirk Hammett who was a former Exodus member before joining Metallica. John Marshall of Metal Church later played guitar for Metallica when James broke his arm. He was also James guitar roadie.

Cool gig facts:

  1. This was the first time that the now legendary thrashhymn ‘Master of Puppets’ was played live.
  2. This was the ONLY time Megadeth and Metallica were on the same bill in the 1980s. They would not share stage again until 1991!

You often read about how badly Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield got along since the sacking of Mustaine from Metallica in 1983, but maybe this gig proves that relations weren’t all that bad since Megadeth were on the bill, and delivered a kick as set. From what I understand from my readings around the net, Megadeth played first, then Metal Church, Exodus and finally Metallica.

Show info: The show was a Bill Graham show. Graham will be an icon in rock history forever because of his role in the San Fran music scene as founder of the famous Fillmore Auditorium, and later Winterland and Fillmore East. He had a habbit of setting up huge New Years Eve shows, and this was one of those.

Ticket info: The ticket is mint and AS NEW, and has never been used. It is overstock from the show and was not sold. I bought it from the promotor archives, and it is in ‘investment quality’. The ticket is turqois and labeled with Bill Grahams well known logo.

What is it worth?: I don’t know, but I THINK that a collector will pay 150-200 USD for this ticket in this mint condition.

Venue info and tour poster: Civic Auditorium, San Fransisco, USA. Indoor arena, concert capasity 7000.

12-31-85 Metallica-Exodus-Metal Church @ San Francisco, CA
Gig poster, Metallica New Years 1985!

Video / links from the gig: I haven’t found any Youtube videos from this evening. This clip is from San Fransisco earlier the same year. 

The band: (ref. Wikipedia) Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, whose releases include fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship that placed them as one of the founding “big four” of thrash metal alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax.They formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. As of 2003, the line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (who joined the band in 1983) and bassist Robert Trujillo (a member since 2003) alongside Hetfield and Ulrich. Previous members of the band are lead guitarist Dave Mustaine (who went on to found the band Megadeth), and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted. The band also had a long collaboration with producer Bob Rock, who produced all of its albums from 1990 to 2003 and served as a temporary bassist between the departure of Newsted and the hiring of Trujillo.

The band earned a growing fan-base in the underground music community and critical acclaim with its first four albums, with their third, Master of Puppets (1986), described as one of the most influential and “heavy” thrash metal albums.


I give you setlists for both Metallica and Megadeth below.

Artist: Metallica
Date: 1985-12-31
Venue: San Fransisco Civic Auditorium                                                                                                                               Tour: Ride the Lightening


– Ecstacy of Gold
– Creeping Death
– Ride The Lightning
– No Remorse
– Master of puppets
– For Whom The Bell Tolls
– The Four Horsemen
– Disposable Heroes
– Fight Fire With Fire
– Seek & Destroy
– Whiplash
– Am I Evil?
– Motorbreath

Artist: Megadeth
Date: 1985-12-31
Venue: San Fransisco Civic Auditorium


  1. Rattlesnake
  2. Wake Up Dead
  3. Chosen Ones
  4. Bad Omen
  5. Devil’s Island
  6. My Last Words
  7. Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good
  8. Peace Sells
  9. Good Mourning/Black Friday

As always; if you have any questions – feel free to mail me: LBMikalsen @ gmail . com or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you 🙂


6 Responses

  1. wasnt anthrax suppose to play but couldnt make it

    • Hi Chris. THats correct, Anthrax cancelled and Megadeth filled in. Actually they played first as far as I know, and it was not a very pleasant event according to Dave Mustaine. I guess they may not have felt all that welcome…

  2. man i wish i coulda went to a old school megadeth show back when killing is my business first came out, by far one of the best thrash albums ever !

    • Hi there Seth,
      Heck yeah, that would have been something. I did’nt see them live myself until 2006, which was of course too late, but since then I have had the pleasure of seeing them several times. Always great experiences!

  3. I was there, my first Metallica show

    • Hehe, fantastic. I was 10 at the time myself, but can imagine it being a pretty drunken and rambling evening with these 4 bands at that specific time 🙂 .
      Great to get feedback from those who were there!

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