Metallica has announced that they will extend their Hardwired Worldwired tour well in to 2018 with dates in Europe. Earlier this year, when Metallica opened the new Royal Arena in Copenhagen, they told the fans that they would return to Europe soon, and now they are making good on that promise.
After a summer North American leg, Metallica will kick off the European leg of the Hardwired Worldwired tour in Amsterdam at the start of September, and will continue to play dates in Europe through May of 2018. While that may seem like a long leg of eight months, Metallica’s European leg actually only consists of 38 shows.
Starting on the Death Magnetic tour, Metallica implemented a fractured touring schedule that usually consists of two week’s worth of shows followed by a two week break to spend time with their families. It became clear to the members of Metallica after several divorces and James Hetfield’s stint in rehab that a breakneck touring schedule – which in the past had at some points gone for years at a time – wasn’t a healthy way to live… in any sense of the word. As such, following Metallica’s “moment of clarity” that appeared in the form of the Some Kind of Monster documentary, Metallica implemented new rules for touring.
For Metallica’s upcoming North American leg of the Hardwired Worldwired tour, they will be following a similar schedule, playing only 26 shows between May and August of 2017.
After playing music together for more than three and a half decades, a length of time that usually ends up killing most bands either figuratively or literally, Metallica has persevered. As such, however, Metallica concerts look a lot different than they did back in the 1980’s. In a recent interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Metallica front man James Hetfield spoke about those differences in the fans that are now attending their shows.
“What blows my mind is I see young girls in the front. And they’re in the front. I remember, when I’d go to any gig, there’s no way girls were even near the front because it was too brutal. But, I tell you, whether it’s how they do the barricades now, or whatnot… but it’s less brutal… I see fathers and sons up in the front, and daughters. It’s anybody and everybody. Everybody is certainly welcome.”
Metallica certainly seems to have much more of an open mind when it comes to their fans, and even their music.
Metallica has shown time and time again that they are willing to try new things that don’t necessarily fit into the so-called “metal box” that some of their fans might like to keep them caged up in… and they’ve been breaking the metal model for decades.
Some younger fans might not remember that when Metallica put the now legendary song “Fade to Black” on their second album, Ride the Lightning, a lot of metal purists threw their hands up in disgust. When Metallica recorded their first ballad, “Nothing Else Matters,” on their self title release (often referred to as the Black Album), more fans left Metallica, again shaking their heads in disgust. Metallica released an album playing shows with the San Francisco Symphony. Metallica cut their hair during Load and Re-Load. Metallica recorded an album with Lou Reed… and the list goes on and on. Clearly, Metallica plays by their own rules.
And now, they continue to play by their own rules. On the North American leg of Metallica’s Hardwired Worldwired tour, Metallica has asked former Beastie Boys DJ, Mixmaster Mike to spin records between opening bands. This is yet another thing that clearly won’t delight metal and rock purists.
And yet, Metallica will persevere, like they’ve always done. Each time that Metallica has risked losing fans over a certain decision, they have usually gained many more than they’ve lost.
[Feature Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]