I’ve seen Metallica 9 times between 1997 and 2009:

  1. Philadelphia, 1997
  2. Camden, 1998
  3. Baltimore, 2000
  4. Philadelphia, 2003
  5. Leeds, 2003
  6. East Rutherford, 2004
  7. Philadelphia, 2009
  8. Newark, 2009
  9. New York, 2009


Starting in 2004, Metallica began changing their set lists every night. Like Pearl Jam started doing a few years prior, they began selling copies of all their shows via their website. Since then their fans have been treated to surprises on a nightly basis. Even non-fans are likely to be aware that Metallica are one of those bands whose fans usually leave their shows saying “I wish they played ______.” Over the past ten years, they’ve even played four of their classic albums in their entirety, skipping the longest of course. As one of their fans who is yet to see rarities like “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” or “Escape” played live, I’ve come up with a list (by album) of what I would like to see Metallica play if I were in the audience and it were up to me.

Kill ‘Em All (1983)

  • Jump in the Fire
  • Whiplash (the headbanger anthem)


Ride the Lightning (1984)

  • Fight Fire With Fire (the mellow opening followed by an explosion is genius!)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Fade to Black
  • Escape


Master of Puppets (1986)

  • Welcome Home (Sanitarium)


…And Justice for All (1988)

  • …And Justice for All
  • Harvester of Sorrow
  • The Frayed Ends of Sanity
  • Dyers Eve (they would not record another song this fast again for 15 years)


Metallica (1991)

  • The Unforgiven
  • The Struggle Within


Load (1996)

  • Hero of the Day
  • The Outlaw Torn (the “Loads” had great closing songs)


Reload (1997)

  • Where the Wild Things Are (one of the best songs of their “experimental” phase)


Garage Inc. (1998)

  • The Small Hours (a band known for thrash metal can sound great doing a slower song)


St. Anger (2003)

  • All Within My Hands (can’t ignore their 8th album)


Death Magnetic (2008)

  • That Was Just Your Life (some of Hetfield’s best lyrics after 25 years)
  • All Nightmare Long (the WWE used this song for a PPV theme!)


That’s 20 songs total, which is a typical Metallica show. I’ve seen them play 11 of those songs live before. At least five will probably never be played  live again. Hopefully, they will play …And Justice for All in its entirety some day!