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Metallica tour dates

Metallica, a heavy metal band formed in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, is one of the most influential and commercially successful bands in rock history. Even with their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and winning several Grammy Awards, among many other accolades, Metallica continues to push boundaries and explore new horizons.

After more than three decades on the road, Metallica tour dates continue to deliver crowd favorites, such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “One” and “Enter Sandman,” mixed with songs from more recent releases, such as Death Magnetic and Hardwired… to Self-Destruct. The November 2016 release of Hardwired…to Self-Destruct marks the group’s long-awaited return with new music and concerts scheduled worldwide.

Metallica’s beginnings

Drummer Ulrich placed an ad looking for metal musicians to jam and Hetfield, vocalist and guitarist, answered. Another ad brought lead guitarist Dave Mustaine into the fold; bassist Ron McGovney, a friend, rounded out the first lineup.

Hitting the ground running, their second ever gig was a one-night opening slot for popular British metal band Saxon. They built a loyal and fervent following through constant gigging and releasing homemade demos.

Just before recording was to begin for their first album in 1983, McGovney left, replaced by Cliff Burton, and Mustaine was let go, replaced by Kirk Hammett (Mustaine went on to form popular, and rival, metal band, Megadeth).

Metallica’s rise to success

Their first album, Kill ‘Em All, was released in 1983 to instant popularity. Their next albums, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, continued to grow the band’s fan base. Through the ‘80s, they opened for the biggest metal acts of the time until the release of …And Justice for All – a commercial and popular success – catapulted them to headliner status.

In between Puppets and Justice, while on tour in Europe in September 1987, Metallica’s tour bus skidded off the road and crashed, resulting in the death of Burton. Devastated, but determined to carry on (and with the Burton family’s blessings), the band recruited new bassist Jason Newsted and went back to touring and recording.

In 1991, they released their self-titled album, Metallica, popularly known as The Black Album. The band demonstrated a different sound, courtesy of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Motley Crüe producer Bob Rock, and achieved huge mainstream success with such singles as “Enter Sandman” and “The Unforgiven.” The album debuted at No. 1 in the U.S.

Their follow-up albums, 1996’s Load and 1997’s Reload, maintained their mainstream success and number one debuts. They added orchestral layers to their sound on the live S&M album in 1999.

 

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