Enlarge Photo Credit: Ian Gavan

Metallica Will Only Play 50 Shows Per Year


Metallica have been an active touring band for more than 35 years. Needless to say, the touring lifestyle is not conducive to regular-person things like families and personal comfort.

To that end, Metallica have decided to limit their live show schedule to roughly 50 per year, which may seem like a lot, but isn’t very much at all; a proper North American tour would easily eat up more than half of that total in just two months’ time (taking into account travel days and set-up days to assemble their massive stage show).

It seems Metallica have been already decreasing their workload for several years. According to Setlist.fm which, it should be noted, is crowd-sourced and not necessarily complete, since 2010 the most shows they’ve played in a single year is 75, with just 45 last year and 43 the year before.

The revelation came in a recent episode of the Nerdist podcast, with transcription below provided by Blabbermouth:

James: “We’ve got stuff penciled in for the whole year. My body has told me to tell these guys that fifty shows a year is kind of what we can do, so make the best of those. And I think we all kind of agree in that. But fifty shows a year, that’s pretty good. My body can handle that. Body, mind and spirit all need to kind of revitalize themselves at home, and days off for voices — things like that — so fifty shows a year, it goes pretty quick, I’m sure. I tell people, ‘We’re only doing fifty a year,’ and they’re saying, ‘Oh my God! That’s a lot.’ And it’s, like, it’s not. It’s not, really, compared to what we used to do.”

Kirk: “Yeah, I mean, we would tour for ten out of twelve months in the past. We had crazy tours where we would tour, like, twelve, fifteen, sixteen weeks in a row, doing five shows a week…”

James: “And we came home, and we were divorced, girlfriends were gone, and we were addicted to a few substances, and we were fighting.”

Kirk: “It’s all a learning experience. We learned so much through all that.”

All that’s well and good for the Met Four if it keeps them healthy, sane and on the road for many more years to come. But let this be a warning for all you fans out there: if Metallica announce a show anywhere near you, better make sure you grab tickets, because it could be a very long while before they come back.

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