Watch Jason Isbell & 400 Unit Debut Twangy Metallica Cover At The Ryman

The band previously recorded “Sad but True” for ‘The Metallica Blacklist’ compilation.

By Scott Bernstein Oct 24, 2022 6:50 am PDT

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit had a big surprise in store towards the end of the eighth and final concert of their 2022 residency at Nashville’s The Ryman Auditorium last night. Isbell led his bandmates through their first live take on Metallica’s “Sad But True” to start an encore on Sunday that also included the beloved “Cover Me Up.”

Originally issued by Metallica on their self-titled 1991 full-length LP commonly known as The Black Album, “Sad but True” quickly became one of the metal act’s most popular songs and a staple of live performances. Frontman James Hetfield co-wrote the tune with drummer Lars Ulrich.

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit put their own countrified spin on “Sad But True” for the 2021 compilation The Metallica Blacklist featuring over 50 artists covering songs from The Black Album. “The next song we have recorded but we have never played it live before. So we’re just gonna try it for y’all,” Isbell explained to the audience at the legendary Nashville venue upon returning for last night’s encore.

Isbell and his bandmates stuck closely to the version recorded for The Metallica Blacklist last night. One exception is that Jason extended his slide guitar solo as Amanda Shires’ fiddle wasn’t in the mix as it was for the studio take.

See Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit’s first live “Sad but True” cover via fan-shot footage below:

This year’s Isbell Ryman Residency began on October 14. Each concert saw a different act open with Cimafunk kicking off the action last night. The encore on Sunday followed a 17-song main set. Originals “24 Frames,” “Hope The High Road,” If We Were Vampires” and “Overseas” were all played for the eighth time in the run’s eight shows as was “Cover Me Up” and a Sadler Vaden-led cover of Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s “Honeysuckle Blue.”

“Something To Love” off 2017’s The Nashville Sound saw action for the first time during the residency last night. Additionally, the band trotted out “Molotov” and the Fleetwood Mac cover “Oh Well” for just their second performances of the eight-show run on Sunday. All told, Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit played 49 different songs at The Ryman over the course of the residency.

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Setlist

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at Ryman Auditorium

  • Super 8  
  • 24 Frames  
  • Outfit  
  • Dreamsicle
  • Molotov
  • Honeysuckle Blue  
  • Oh Well  
  • If We Were Vampires
  • Children of Children  
  • Hope the High Road
  • Something to Love
  • Overseas
  • Alabama Pines
  • Elephant  
  • Stockholm  
  • Flying Over Water  
  • Decoration Day  
Encore
  • Sad but True  
  • Cover Me Up  
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