Metallica have always considered themselves “road dogs,” that is – they live to play on the road. Their tours don’t take months, they take years, and it seems the Guinness Book of World Records was taking note of when and where the mighty Metallica have performed.
According to Rolling Stone, Metallica have been given the Guinness Book of World Records Award for the only band in human history to tour on all seven continents. Not only that – they played all seven continents in a single year.
Last year, Metallica played shows in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and, yeah, Antarctica. That seventh continent, Antarctica, was the one that made the difference. Metallica played ten songs on an ice-covered rock for 120 scientists and contest winners. The show, appropriately dubbed Freeze ’em All, took place in a transparent dome at Antarctica’s Carlini Station last December according to the official Guinness World Records website.
Lead singer James Hetfield described the show.
“Seven continents in one year with Antarctica being the gig of a lifetime. Yes, 120 scientists and competition winners. Not to mention the 300 very curious penguins!”
The Metallica concert at Carlini Station wasn’t like most ear-splitting metal shows, however. Due to Antarctica’s extremely fragile natural environment, each attendee was given a set of high quality headphones, and as Metallica played, their music was broadcast to each fan, silent disco style.
Drummer Lars Ulrich said he got the idea for the gig from his son.
“A year and a half ago when my son came home from a gig at a place called Treasure Island in San Francisco, he was talking about how he’d been to a silent rave. And he was trying to explain 500 people dancing with headphones on, and you could hear a pin drop in there.”
The contest to go to Antarctica to hear the heaviest band of all time play the remotest stage of all time was open to Metallica’s Latin American fans in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Winners won a cruise that sailed from December 3rd to the 10th, with a stop at Carlini station on December 8th for the concert. Coke Zero co-sponsored the contest.
Here’s a video of the Metallica Freeze ’em All Antarctica concert in its entirety.
For all the touring Metallica has done of late, they currently have no more shows scheduled for this year. Metallica is working on the followup to their 2008 album, Death Magnetic, the band’s ninth studio album which had sold over 2 million copies as of 2010. Ulrich stated last May that he felt like the band was in the “fourth inning” of working on the new record, and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett “guessed” that Metallica’s new album would be released in 2015.
image via Guinness World Records