I’ve seen Metallica 9 times between 1997 and 2009:
- Philadelphia, 1997
- Camden, 1998
- Baltimore, 2000
- Philadelphia, 2003
- Leeds, 2003
- East Rutherford, 2004
- Philadelphia, 2009
- Newark, 2009
- 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
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)
- The Unforgiven
- The Struggle Within
- Hero of the Day
- The Outlaw Torn (the “Loads” had great closing songs)
- 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!
I didn’t knew they changed their set lists every night, but I have to admit I’m not their number 1 fan (but I have been on one of their concerts in Oslo, Norway – because the other half of We Travel Together wanted to go). You’ve done a good job seeing so many concerts though!
OMG I LOVE METALLICA. I think I first listened to them when I was about 5, and have been hooked since then. Since I’m in New Zealand, they don’t often come here (NO!) but I was lucky enough to see them back in 2010 I think it was. It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to & I even have one of Kirk’s guitar picks hahaha. I don’t think I could choose a dream set list though, too hard!
I’m really hoping they come back to NZ again, here’s hoping.
I can totally understand why you’d choose the older albums for their set list. I think Metallica has slowed down the past years when it comes to coming up with unique music to offer their fans, but fans love them nonetheless!
I’m not a Metallica fan but I imagine their concerts are amazing if you are. Such high energy!
It’s a great thing that a band has such a wide range of successes to perform at every concert to be able to make everytime very different show. Great post.
I had a phase in HS where I played all kinds of rock, heavy metal songs I admit my parents were worried haha! Though now only Guns & Roses and Pearl Jam remain in my iPod. Awesome that you saw them live!
Metallica isn’t really something I listen to but that’s impressive how many times you’ve seen them. A real fan!
Brian, I saw Metallica already in 1988 in Helsinki, and after that so many times in Finland and else where in Europe. On the set list there should always be Masters, Bellz and Seek & destroy – so far I’ve never been dissapointed. I’ve heard that one new song from the coming album – it’s ok, better than for decays but I prefer the old ones.
Good old metallica, even if you are not a fan you still know who they are as they are that iconic.
The iconic metallica! A friend of mine is a real fan and he showed me several video concerts he attended. They are awesome!
sounds like you and my husband would have a ton to talk about, your musical interests are very close to his, not mine, but hey, I can still enjoy the craftsmanship and creativity that Metallica brings to the table. Blessings!
Wow! You go to a lot of concerts! I think I have been to like 4 concerts in my life! Metallica isn’t really my music scene but my husband used to listen to them…
I see you are quite the fan, and fantastic you have been to so many concerts across the world too! I imagine they would be a great band to see live.
I’ve heard many of their songs. They have so much energy in them and they make an environment lively.
Hi Fatima. I agree. Even went to see that drive-in show they did during the height of COVID!