Way back in March, it was announced the biggest band in the world -- heavy-metal giants Metallica -- would help christen U.S. Bank Stadium this Saturday. The countdown has felt like an eternity.
For some, the controversial stadium monstrosity has festered into reality -- the crystallized, metallic turd that blots out the previously glorious Minneapolis skyline. But for us Metallica fans, it will host a sacred moment in Metallica lore. Saturday's gig is one of only two the band has scheduled in 2016, since they’ve spent the year mostly in the studio. The Metallica family will journey from far and wide to attend the eagerly anticipated mega-concert.
This will be the group's first Minnesota show since 2009, giving even skeptics of the new stadium an opportunity to delight in one of the world’s most powerful and invigorating bands. To make matters even more exciting, Metallica announced Thursday their first album in eight years, Hardwired ... To Self-Destruct, due out November 18, and teased the lead single, "Hardwired."
But if you’re like me, you've been binging on Metallica all summer in eager anticipation of the big event this weekend. To celebrate, I’ve put together some of the most epic, iconic, and monumental performances throughout Metallica’s long and fabled career.
This list showcases different eras of the band: the OG lineup, the mullet period, and the most recent, as the band has mostly embraced sobriety, insuring their longevity. All these clips capture the incredible influence Metallica’s body of work has inspired. They show the progression of a band that has risen up from their underground roots and achieved true world domination. [Insert James Hetfield sinister laugh here!]
Cabaret Metro -- Chicago, Illinois, 8/12/83
Metallica's roller coaster 35-year career began with burning up stages in true DIY fashion cross country. Featuring then-new guitarist Kirk Hammett and original bassist, the late Cliff Burton, this clip shows Metallica firing on all cylinders. Many encountered the power of Metallica for the first time at these intimate club gigs.
“For Whom the Bells Toll” & “Fight Fire with Fire”
Oakland Stadium -- Oakland, California, 8/31/85 & Freilichtbühne Loreley -- St. Goarshausen, Germany 9/14/85
These clips from the Day on the Green concert in Oakland, California, and the Metal Hammer Festival in Germany show Metallica, still young pups, months after the release of their second record and major label debut, Ride the Lightning. Their ascent to massive popularity was imminent. Also: Cliff's bass solo here is so frickin' righteous!
“Sad But True” and “Day on the Green"
Oakland Stadium -- Oakland, California, 10/12/91
The release of Metallica’s self-titled 1991 record, often called The Black Album, represented the largest expansion of their audience. It also represented mainstream acceptance of the band’s brand of heavy thrash music. This pivotal period proved somewhat divisive for fans who considered Metallica their own cult band, but there was no turning back.
Tushino Airfield -- Moscow, U.S.S.R. 9/28/91
Smack dab in the middle of the complete collapse of the former Soviet Union, Metallica, AC/DC, Pantera, the Black Crowes, and others staged a gargantuan concert in Moscow in front of 1.6 million people. The sheer energy and pandemonium of the concert reportedly startled Soviet guards who, in turn, began beating people in many parts of the crowd. Unbeknownst to the performers, the military inflicted brutality and violence, resulting in more than 200 rapes and 11 deaths during the daylong event.
Whiskey A Go-Go -- Los Angeles, California, 12/14/95
In 1995, Metallica played in honor of Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister’s 50th birthday party at the Whiskey A Go-Go in Los Angeles. It would be the band’s first time playing the Whiskey since opening for British band Saxon in 1982. Billing themselves as “The Lemmys," all four members dressed up as Kilmister, performing a set of Motörhead covers, including this ripping version of “Overkill”
Seoul Olympic Stadium -- Seoul, South Korea, 8/15/06
In between records, Metallica booked what they called the Escape from the Studio Tour ‘06, taking the band from the U.S. through several festivals in Europe and eventually Japan and South Korea. Performed in the sweltering summer heat in the Seoul Olympic Stadium, this version of “Orion” shows the band practically sweating their tattoos off, paying homage to former bassist Cliff Burton with his signature tune.
Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini -- South Shetland Islands, 12/8/13
In 2013, Metallica earned the status no other band in the world has ever achieved -- they performed on all seven continents. All in one year, no less! The band invited 100 fans from Argentina to attend the “Freeze 'Em All” show on the Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini. Surrounded by water and icebergs, all the sound was channeled through headphones to the audience, so as not to sonically effect the delicate environment or scare any penguins.
“The Night Before”
AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA, 2/6/16
Fans may have felt more shunned than Metallica when the band weren’t asked to perform at this year’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show, which took place in their home stomping grounds of San Francisco. In true Metalli-fashion, they took the opportunity to give the NFL a big flying finger: Metallica mounted their own “Too Heavy for Halftime” concert the night before the big game at the Giant’s AT&T Park.