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Metallica is an American Heavy Metal band, founded in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield in Los Angeles. Aside from Ulrich, the original lineup for some of the 1982 concerts included James Hetfield (Rhythm Guitar and lead vocals), Dave Mustaine (lead guitar and backing vocals) and Ron McGovney (bass guitar). Cliff Burton replaced McGovney in 1982 and played with the band till his death in 1986, after his death till today new bassist were recruited in the band Jason Newsted (1986–2001), and Robert Trujillo (since 2003). While the lead guitarist role was taken by Kirk Hammett (since 1983) after Dave Mustaine got fired from the band. During the first years, Metallica played in small festivals and as supporting acts on tours for bands such as Venom. Since 1982, Metallica has performed on all populated continents numbering live events every year (with the exception of 2001) in a total of over 1,600 shows. The majority of these were played in the United States, but numerous concerts were also played in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany, among other countries. The band also went on seven worldwide tours: Damage Inc. Tour (1986–1987), Damaged Justice Tour (1988–1989), Wherever We May Roam Tour (1991–1992), Nowhere Else to Roam (1993), Madly in Anger with the World Tour (2003–2004), Escape from the Studio '06, and World Magnetic Tour (2008–2010). During these tours, South Africa, as well as several countries in Central and South America, Asia, and Oceania, were visited.

Metallica has played many shows at major rock festivals such as Woodstock '94, Ozzfest, Monsters of Rock, Lollapalooza, Download Festival, Reading Festival, and Day on the Green. They also held numerous concerts in stadiums, some of which featured crowds of over 100,000 people. One of the highest-attendance music concerts in history was held by Metallica on September 28, 1991, at Tushino Airfield in Moscow, where unofficially 1.6 million people attended. Some of these performances were later released as videos for special box-sets or DVD releases. Some performances have been held in theaters, including two April 1999 shows alongside the San Francisco Symphony that were released as the album S&M.

Metallica's first official tour was Kill 'Em All for One, which started in 1983 to promote their debut album. Their longest so far has been the Wherever We May Roam and World Magnetic Tours, which lasted 14 months and 20 months, respectively, with each having over 170 concerts. The band is among the most lucrative live bands, selling out half of their first 187 concerts held during the 2000s, and gaining an attendance of over 3.5 million people and a gross of over US$227 million.

1980s Tours

Year(s) Title Legs (locations) and dates Number of
Supporting acts
1983–1984 Kill 'Em All for One USA: July 27, 1983 – September 3, 1983 31 Raven, Anthrax, Exodus

This was the first tour played as a band, and it supported their first album, Kill 'Em All.

1984 Seven Dates of Hell Europe: February 3 – August 29, 1984 16 Venom (headliner), Twisted Sister

Metallica played as supporting act for Venom, performing in front of 7,000 people at the Aardschok Festival in Zwolle, Netherlands.

1984 Bang That Head That Doesn't Bang Europe: November 16 – December 20, 1984 25 Tank

The band had its first major European tour, with an average crowd of 1,300.

1985 Ride the Lightning Tour North America: January 11 – March 19, 1985
Europe: August 13 – September 14, 1985
USA: September 29, 1985 – December 31, 1985
57 W.A.S.P. (co-headliner), Armored Saint, Tank, ZZ Top, Marillion, Bon Jovi, Ratt, Magnum, Tommy Vance, Exodus

The band went on tour to support their second album, Ride the Lightning, gaining an attendance of 60,000 at a show in Oakland, California, at the Day on the Green festival. During the tour, Metallica played for the first time at the Monsters of Rock festival. The concert was at Donington Park, England, in front of 70,000 people.

1986–1987 Damage Inc. Tour North America: March 27 – August 3, 1986
Europe: September 10, 1986 – January 2, 1987
World Tour: January 8 – February 13, 1987
142 Anthrax, The Godz, Metal Church, Scrap Metal

The tour supported the band's third album Master of Puppets in which the headliner of the North American portion was Ozzy Osbourne. It was plagued with misfortune for the band, as the guitar technician John Marshall had to fill James Hetfield's place at the rhythm guitar twice due to wrist injury. Later, during the European portion, a bus accident in Sweden killed bassist Cliff Burton. The World Tour that followed introduced the new bassist, Jason Newsted.

1987 Monsters of Rock '87 Europe: August 20–30, 1987 4 Bon Jovi, Dio, Anthrax, W.A.S.P., Cinderella, The Bailey Brothers

The group went on the festival tour for the second time, with concerts in England and West Germany.

1988 Monsters of Rock '88 USA: May 27 – July 30, 1988 32 Van Halen (headliner), Scorpions, Dokken, Kingdom Come

Metallica went on the same festival tour, the second year in a row, and played in front of crowds numbering 40,000 to 53,000 people.

1988–1989 Damaged Justice Tour Europe: September 11 – November 5, 1988
World Tour: November 15, 1988 – October 8, 1989
222 Danzig, Queensrÿche, Faith No More, Mortal Sin, The Cult

The tour supported the band's fourth album, ...And Justice for All. The August 29 and 30, 1989 shows in Seattle were later released in the box set Live Shit: Binge & Purge.

1990s Tours

Year(s) Title Legs (locations) and dates Number of
Supporting acts
1990 Tour 1990 Europe/North America: May 11 – September 11, 1990 12 Warrior Soul, Dio, Bonham, Aerosmith (headliner)

The tour consisted of several European festivals and stadium shows, as well as a private gig at The Marquee under the name The Frayed Ends. It included two shows in Aerosmith's Pump Tour, along with The Black Crowes and Warrant, with crowds of 60,000 and 30,000 spectators respectively.

1991 Monsters of Rock '91 North America/Europe: August 1 – September 28, 1991 24 AC/DC (headliner),Pantera, Mötley Crüe, Queensryche, The Black Crowes

Metallica went on the festival tour a fourth time. The last concert of the tour, held on September 28 at Tushino Airfield in Moscow, was described as "the first free outdoor Western rock concert in Soviet history" and had a crowd estimated between 150,000 and 500,000 people, with some unofficial estimates as high as 1,600,000.

1991–1992 Wherever We May Roam Tour World Tour: October 12, 1991 – July 5, 1992
Europe: October 22 – December 18, 1992
174 Metal Church

The tour supported the fifth album, Metallica (also known as "The Black Album") which included a performance at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, with the band performing a short set list and Hetfield performing with Queen and [Tony Iommi. The January 13 and 14, 1992 shows in San Diego were later released in the box set Live Shit: Binge & Purge, while the tour and the album were later documented in A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica.

1992 Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour North America: July 17 – October 6, 1992 25 Guns N' Roses (co-headliner), Faith No More, Body Count, Motörhead

It was an overlap of Metallica's Wherever We May Roam Tour and Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion Tour. James Hetfield suffered serious burns during a show in Montreal; John Marshall filled the guitar for the rest of the tour.

1993 Nowhere Else To Roam Tour North America: January 22 – March 13, 1993
World Tour: March 16 – May 8, 1993
Europe: May 19 – July 4, 1993
77 Suicidal Tendencies, The Cult, Alice in Chains, Kyuss

The shows in Mexico City across February and March 1993 were later released as part of the box set Live Shit: Binge & Purge. It is also the first time the band met Robert Trujillo who would join the band almost a decade later.

1994 Shit Hits the Sheds Tour USA: May 28 – August 21, 1994 51 Danzig, Suicidal Tendencies

The tour included a performance at Woodstock '94 on August 13 in front of a crowd of 350,000.

1995 Escape from the Studio '95 UK/Canada/USA: August 23 – December 14, 1995 5 Slayer, Skid Row, Slash's Snakepit, Therapy?, Warrior Soul, Machine Head, White Zombie, Corrosion of Conformity

During the tour, a song from each of the next two albums were played ("2 × 4" and "Devil's Dance").

1996 Lollapalooza No. 6 North America: June 27 – August 4, 1996 22 Soundgarden, Cocteau Twins, Devo, Ramones, Rancid, Shaolin Monks, Screaming Trees, Psychotica

Metallica headlined the festival tour, in front of crowds of about 20,000, with many shows being sold out.

1996–1997 Poor Touring Me Europe: September 6 – November 27, 1996
North America: December 19, 1996 – May 28, 1997
139 Corrosion of Conformity, Soundgarden, Korn

The tour supported the recently released album Load. The May 9 and 10, 1997 shows in Fort Worth, Texas were later released in the video Cunning Stunts.

1997 Blitzkrieg '97 Europe: August 22–24, 1997 3

Metallica plays at European festivals to fulfill earlier contractual obligations. They play three back-to-back shows at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium, Blind Man's Ball in Germany, and Reading Festival in England.

1997 Re-Load Promo Tour USA/Europe: November 11–18, 1997 6

The tour promoted the just-released album ReLoad. Over 120,000 fans called to request a location for the free concert held in November, later named Million Decibel March.

1998–1999 Poor Re-Touring Me Tour Pacific Rim: March 21 – May 8, 1998
North America: June 24, 1998 – April 30, 1999
65 Jerry Cantrell, Days of the New

The shows on April 21 and 22, 1999 at Berkeley Community Theatre, alongside the San Francisco Symphony, were released as the album S&M.

1998 Garage Inc Promo Tour North America: November 17–24, 1998 5 Battery

The tour supported the album Garage, Inc.

1999 Garage Remains the Same Tour Mexico/South America: April 30 – May 14, 1999
Europe/USA: May 21 – December 8, 1999
53 Monster Magnet

The tour supported the album Garage, Inc.. During the tour, Metallica played two live concerts similar to the one released in S&M, one in Germany with Babelsberger Filmorchester on November 19; and one at the Madison Square Garden, New York City, with the Orchestra of St. Luke's on November 23.

1999–2000 M2K Mini Tour USA: December 28, 1999 – January 10, 2000 10 Ted Nugent, Sevendust, Kid Rock, Creed

The New Year's Eve show in Pontiac, Michigan was in front of 50,000 people.

2000s Tours

Year(s) Title Legs (locations) and dates Number of
Supporting acts
2000 Summer Sanitarium 2000 USA: June 23 – August 9, 2000 21 Korn, Kid Rock, Powerman 5000, System of a Down

Hetfield missed three shows due to back injury. Newsted sang most of the songs during these concerts, and the vocals and rhythm guitar were also taken by musicians from the other bands.

2003 Summer Sanitarium 2003 Europe: June 4–28, 2003
Europe/North America: July 4 – August 29, 2003
36 Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Mudvayne, Linkin Park, Lostprophets, The Darkness

As a tour supporting album St. Anger, it marked the first time the new bassist, Robert Trujillo, played live with the band.

2003–2004 Madly in Anger with the World Tour World Tour: November 6, 2003 – November 28, 2004 137 Godsmack, Lostprophets, Slipknot, In Flames

Another tour supporting album St. Anger, in which most shows were made available later for purchase as a digital download. Before the show in Download Festival, Lars Ulrich was hospitalized, and Metallica played in that gig with guest drummers Dave Lombardo and Joey Jordison, and Ulrich's drum technician Flemming Larsen.

2006 Escape from the Studio '06 World Tour: March 13 – August 15, 2006 16 Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, Trivium, Tool

Two untitled new songs were played, and some portions ended up being featured on the next released album. Tour also featured the album Master of Puppets played in its entirety in its proper sequence for the first time.

2007 Sick of the Studio '07 Europe: June 28 – July 18, 2007 12 Mastodon, Him, Joe Satriani, Stone Sour, Incubus, Biok, Faithless, Interpol, The Kooks, My Dying Bride, Dirt Spawn Disease, Heaven and Hell, Oomph!, Machine Head, Turbonegro, Volbeat, Mnemic, Diablo

The tour featured shows at festivals and in stadiums, with crowds numbering 60,000 people.

2008 2008 European Vacation Tour North America/Europe: May 14 – August 24, 2008 26 The Sword, Ozzy Osbourne, Serj Tankian, Hellyeah, Jonathan Davis, Cavalera Conspiracy, Shadows Fall, Apocalyptica, In This Moment

Two songs from the upcoming album were debut. The band played at Ozzfest for the first time in their history, being featured as headliners and playing right after Ozzy Osbourne.

2008–2010 World Magnetic Tour Europe/Israel: September 12, 2008 – June 27, 2010
USA/Canada: October 17, 2008 – December 12, 2009
Latin America: June 4, 2009 – March 14, 2010
Australia/Japan/New Zealand: September 15, 2010 – November 21, 2010
187 Lamb of God, The Sword, Volbeat, Machine Head, Down, Mastodon, Avenged Sevenfold, Resorte, Fear Factory, Gojira, Horcas, Mad, Hibria, Sepultura, High on Fire, Orphaned Land, Criminal

Tour supporting the album Death Magnetic. The tour was the 16th highest grossing concert tour ever. The shows on June 4, 6 and 7 at Mexico City and on July 7 of 2009 at Nîmes, France were released on the DVDs Orgullo, Pasión y Gloria: Tres Noches en la Ciudad de México and Français Pour Une Nuit respectively. The tour ended with concerts in Australia and in New Zealand in November 2010.

2011 2011 Vacation Tour North America/Europe/South America/Asia: April 23 - October 30, 2011 17 Biffy Clyro

Tour features the first two Big Four U.S. shows in Indio, California and New York City, respectively, as well as the band's first ever show in India. The New York City show was in Yankee stadium in September.

2012 2012 European Black Album Tour Europe: May 7 - June 10, 2012 16

This tour will show the band playing in Europe for one month, featuring large festivals around the continent, such as Sonisphere Festival, Download Festival, Nova Rock Festival, Rock in Rio Lisboa, Rock Werchter, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park. It will feature the band playing The Black Album for the first time ever in its entirely (similar to Master of Puppets played on the Escape from the Studio 2006 Vacation Tour) on all the concerts, supporting the 20(ish!) anniversary of the album. It will also be the first concert ever played by a band in The State Prison of East Jutland in Horsens, Denmark on 6 June.

2012 El Arsenal Completo/The Full Arsenal North America: July 28 - August 29, 2012 13

Few of the shows were recorded for the band's movie Metallica: Through the Never, was the first tour that the band had two songs for the encore rather than three, and included stage antics like the stage falling apart, the Death Magnetic Coffins, and much more.

2013 Summer Tour 2013 North America/Asia/Europe/South America: June 8 - September 21, 2013 14 Anvil, The Sacrilege (Singapore)

At the second Orion Music + More festival held in Detroit, the band played under the fake-name "Dehaan" - "Dehaan" being a reference to actor Dane DeHaan, who starred in Metallica: Through the Never - and played Kill 'Em All in its entirety, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release. Following the tour, Metallica played a show called "Freeze 'Em All" in Antarctica's Carlini Base, becoming the first band to play on all seven continents.

2014 Metallica by Request Tour Europe/South America and Montreal in North America: March 16, 2014 - August 9, 2014 25 Raven (Brazil)
De La Tierra (South America)

An interactive tour, concertgoers could vote, via internet, which songs Metallica would include on each night's setlist and, at the concert, via SMS, to a song in the encore. Metallica debuted a new song, called "Lords of Summer". Metallica's only stop in North America was in Montreal for the Heavy Montreal festival.

2015 Metallica Lords of Summer North America, South America and Europe: May 9, 2015 - September 19, 2015 25
Back-to-back gigs in Quebec City marked both the last concert held at Colisée Pepsi and the first musical performance held at Centre Videotron.
2016-20?? Worldwired Tour Tour ongoing ??

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