Metallica is in final preparations for the North American leg of their WorldWired Tour. The band will kick off the tour this Wednesday in Baltimore, and behind the scenes shots of the stage promise a Metallica-sized spectacle. In advance of the tour’s kickoff, Metallica has released a video titled “Hardwired… Around the World.” The video is set to the title track off of Metallica’s latest album, but features snippets of live appearances from all over the world thus far, from Mexico, to Denmark, to Bogota, to Minneapolis, to Hong Kong, and everywhere in between.
Metallica’s stadium tour will run throughout the summer across the United States and Canada, culminating with a show in Edmonton in mid-August. Along the way, Metallica will also play two festivals: the Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and Outside Lands in San Francisco. And the WorldWired Tour doesn’t end there. After finishing up North America, Metallica moves on to a heady stint of European gigs that will keep the band moving through May of 2018. How does a band whose members are pushing their mid-50s keep up with such a rigorous tour schedule? They are utilizing what Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich calls, “age appropriate touring.” The band will stick to a rough two week on/two week off schedule, meaning that they’ll be out on the road for a few weeks, and then return home for a few weeks to be with their families. Clearly, this type of touring isn’t economically feasible for some bands, or even most bands, but when you’ve been economically successful for the better part 30 years like Metallica has, you can finally afford to tour at your own speed.
Metallica hasn’t done a hefty set of North American gigs since they supported their last album, Death Magnetic, which was released in 2008. Even then, the tour for that album was almost entirely arena-based. This time out, Metallica is pushing the pedal to the metal, appearing almost exclusively in baseball and football stadiums. Drummer Lars Ulrich recently told Rolling Stone about how daunting the prospect of a stadium tour can be.
“Full stadium runs can sometimes be a little intimidating. There’s all these things to worry about like, ‘You should really try to play maybe only on the weekend,’ and, ‘Where do you play on Tuesday?’ and some of those practicalities can get a little bewildering. We just threw caution to the wind. Doing a stadium run seemed like the perfect thing on the back of how well this record has been received and all the good will that’s out there in Metallica’s world right now.”
To say that Metallica’s latest album, Hardwired… to Self Destruct has been well received would be an understatement. Vaulting immediately to the top of the Billboard charts upon release, the latest effort by Metallica was certified platinum, selling over a million copies, last month. Metallica was also the first rock band to sell over a million copies in the current decade.
On Tuesday, May 9, the night before the North American leg of the WorldWired Tour commences, Metallica is giving fans a glimpse of the stage setup for their stadium tour. On Metallica’s Facebook page, the band will be giving a live feed of a four song rehearsal. Dubbing the event, “Now That We’re Live,” Metallica’s website says that one of the four songs will include “Now That We’re Dead,” from the new album.
So, Metallica fans can rejoice. It won’t be long until you’re standing with your metal horns held high, while the opening chords of “The Ecstasy of Gold” announce yet another evening with Metallica.
[Feature Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]