Lars Ulrich announces Metallica fall tour

Band performed Wednesday at L.A. benefit

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich revealed Thursday night during an intimate Los Angeles benefit concert that the band will follow the September release of its new, as-yet-untitled album with a tour in October.

"That was the first show of the tour," said Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who, along with his bandmates, shredded through a nearly two-hour set with such hits as "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Fuel," "Master of Puppets," "... And Justice for All," "Enter Sandman," and "Seek and Destroy," at Los Angeles' 2,300-capacity Wiltern LG.

The group didn't reveal any new material during its lengthy set. Nevertheless, "it feels good to play live again," singer-guitarist James Hetfield told a packed audience. "We haven't played here in a long time."

Last's night concert was pulled together on short notice to help raise funds for the nonprofit Silverlake Conservatory of Music. The organization was co-founded by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, who joined Metallica onstage for "Fight Fire With Fire," from the band's 1984 album "Ride the Lightning."

Money raised from the concert will go toward the Silverlake Conservatory of Music's programs and operations, along with scholarships for low-income students who can't afford instruments and music lessons.

Bill White, director of development at the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, said the idea for the benefit concert came together during a board meeting when Flea offered to ask Metallica's Ulrich if the band would be interested in doing a benefit show on the school's behalf. As a result, "We'll probably raise over $300,000 net on this," White says. "It's a gift from Metallica to the school."

Tickets for the concert went on sale Sunday for $200 apiece, along with a limited amount of VIP tickets that ran $500. Along with its annual Hullabaloo fund-raiser, which last year featured Eddie Vedder and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Silverlake Conservatory of Music has plans to do more one-off benefit concerts, according to White.

Meanwhile, Metallica will remain on the West Coast this weekend to play Tucson, Ariz.'s KFMA Day (Thursday), KROQ-Los Angeles' Weenie Roast (May 17), followed by Manchester, Tenn.'s Bonnaroo Music Festival (June 13). No other North American dates were announced at deadline, but the rock act also has a handful of concert and festival appearances in Europe slated for August.

Along with Metallica, last night's benefit concert featured rock act Scars On Broadway, the new band from System of a Down guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan. As previously reported, Scars on Broadway's as-yet-untitled debut album is slated for a late summer release.