Metallica hit Chicago with Hardwired To Self Destruct, just days after Ghost opened for Iron Maiden in the same city. Overall it was an amazing week for heavy metal music in Chicago.
Iron Maiden played Tinley Park in Chicago last Thursday on Iron Maiden’s The Book of Souls World Tour, with the hauntingly costumed Swedish band Ghost. Avenged Sevenfold opened or Metallica at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Metallica was “bone-rattling,” says Chicago Now, and for those not familiar with metal concerts, yes the journalist does mean that quite literally. It isn’t enough just to hear music, heavy metal reverberations can truly be felt in the bones.
Iron Maiden with Ghost in tow, and Metallica with Avenged Sevenfold, passed as ships in the night, Iron Maiden was already gone, before Metallica arrived and that’s always how it is on tour. Some of the lucky people of Chicago however, had the opportunity to see both.
Metallica had actually been in Texas, having played San Antonio on Wednesday, and Dallas on Friday, while Iron Maiden and Ghost were shaking up Chicago on Thursday.
Iron Maiden and Ghost were, ironically, in Texas, after doing shows in Minneapolis and Oklahoma City, by the time Metallica got to Chicago. It’s no wonder bands on tour sometimes forget what town they are in.
While Iron Maiden and Ghost are booking the tour dates really close for June and July, Metallica has a long tour ahead, but are taking their tour, in two weeks on and two weeks off cycle according to the Rolling Stone.
Metallica’s James Hetfield told the Rolling Stone he has to remind bandmate Lars Ulrich it’s alright to say no to interviews, meet and greets and so forth.
“Sometimes Lars’ plate is too full and he won’t admit it, He’ll show up in the Tuning Room late, all wound up. So I remind him, ‘You can say no. You don’t have to do everything.'”
Metallica spends a lot of time apart on tours. Doing separate interviews, conducting various business separately and so forth gives band members more freedom and also gets things done more quickly. It also makes getting along easier since they have more autonomy and alone time.
Metallica and Iron Maiden have a different approach to world tours in many ways. Metallica’s tour runs like a well-oiled machine. They are pretty regimented while Iron Maiden seems to still have a sense of wonder about touring.
Metallica has put together a little Metallica museum for the VIPs. It’s called the “Memory Remains” Museum, and fans can see it, plus get special meets and greets for $2,499 according to the Rolling Stone.
Iron Maiden Bassist Steve Harris let Loud Wire know the band is very pumped about the U.S. leg of The Books of Souls tour.
“We are really looking forward to returning to North America for a full tour. We had always planned to go back there and to the UK as last year, due to the global nature of the tour and the period it took, we just didn’t have time to cover them properly and we do still like to get to fans in as many places as possible!”
This will be Metallica’s first North American tour in eight years. They will slowly make the rounds this summer, with plenty of rest time.
Iron Maiden, however, were eager to squeeze in as many dates as possible. Steve Harris makes it obvious he feels pretty bad about not being able to make it to every single town in the U.S. Iron Maiden is on the verge of overbooking, but they have allowed a day off now and then.
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich told the Rolling Stone there are so many rules and details that a lot of people couldn’t even imagine. But bands like Metallica have to keep up with them.
“When you’re in a bigger place, there’s more stuff to either worry about or that can go wrong. You’ve got curfews and public transportation shutdowns and if you play nine seconds past a certain time then it’s $25,000 a second. We have an awesome team out here, but there’s some times where you sit there and like, ‘Who’s actually steering this ship?’
Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris doesn’t seem to be worried about what might go wrong. Steve is excited about stage sets. Steve enjoys that fans like the way the stage looks.
“We will, of course, be bringing the full production with us including all the Eddies and the Maya-themed stage sets. There’s been a great reaction from everyone to this tour’s theme, people really seem to love it.”
Metallica is worried. They care about the future of music a great deal, as well as the future of Metallica. Right now Metallica is near the top of the Metal music market. Ghost is actually on the rise too and has a rapidly growing fan base.
Iron Maiden has been around forever it seems, or at least nearly a lifetime. These guys are tenacious, or they wouldn’t still be around, and they obviously love what they do.
Metallica’s Kirk Hammett told the Rolling Stone about a general loss of interest in metal, in recent years. A lot of bands seem to be falling to the wayside.
“There are a few bands still doing it on a level that’s similar to back in the day, like 1993 all over again There’s Guns N’ Roses, Tool… Like, what happened to everyone? Did they just fade away, give up? Did they lose interest? Did the audience lose interest? Why did the audience lose interest? There are a bunch of different questions on why they’re not here now and why are we.”
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Metallica, Iron Maiden, Ghost, and Avenged Sevenfold all wonder what the future is for metal music.
[Featured Image by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP Images]