List of Metallica concert tours

The four band members are shown performing during a concert
Metallica performing in Sweden for the World Magnetic Tour in 2009

Metallica is an American heavy metal band, founded in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield. 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 until his death in 1986. After his death, bassists Jason Newsted (1986–2001), and Robert Trujillo (since 2003)[1][2] were recruited in the band. 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.[3] Since their very first live gig at Radio City, Anaheim on March 14, 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 (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 Days 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 set 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.[4]

Metallica's first official tour was Kill 'Em All for One, which started in 1983 to promote their debut album. Their longest so far have been the Wherever We May Roam and World Magnetic Tours, which lasted 14 months and 20 months, respectively, with each having over 170 concerts.[5] 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.[6]

1980s tours

Year(s) Title Legs (locations) and dates Number of
[note 1]
Supporting acts[note 2]
1983–1984 Kill 'Em All for One US: July 27, 1983 – January 22, 1984 52 Raven, Anthrax, Exodus[3][7]

This was the first tour played as a band, and it supported their first album, Kill 'Em All.[7]

1984 Seven Dates of Hell Europe: February 3 – August 29, 1984 16 Venom (headliner), Twisted Sister[3][8]

Metallica played as supporting act for Venom, performing in front of 7,000 people at the Aardschok Festival in Zwolle, Netherlands.[9]

1984 Bang That Head That Doesn't Bang Europe: November 16 – December 20, 1984 25 Tank[10]

The band had its first major European tour, with an average crowd of 1,300.[10]

1985 Ride the Lightning Tour North America: January 11 – March 19, 1985
Europe: August 13 – September 14, 1985
US: September 29, 1985 – December 31, 1985
57 WASP (co-headliner), Armored Saint, Tank, ZZ Top, Marillion, Bon Jovi, Ratt, Magnum, Tommy Vance, Exodus[10][11]

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.[10] 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.[10]

1986–1987 Damage, Inc. Tour North America: March 27 – August 3, 1986
Europe: September 10–26, 1986
Japan: November 15–20, 1986
North America: November 26 – December 20, 1986
Europe: January 8 – February 13, 1987
142 Anthrax, Metal Church

The tour supported the band's third album Master of Puppets in which the headliner of the North American spring and summer portion was Ozzy Osbourne.[10] 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.[12][13] Later, during the European portion, a bus accident in Sweden killed bassist Cliff Burton.[12] The World Tour that followed introduced the new bassist, Jason Newsted.[13]

1987 Monsters of Rock '87 Europe: August 20–30, 1987 4 Bon Jovi, Dio, Anthrax, WASP, Cinderella[11][14]

The group went on the festival tour for the second time, with concerts in England and West Germany.[15]

1988 Monsters of Rock '88 US: May 27 – July 30, 1988 32 Van Halen (headliner), Scorpions, Dokken, Living Colour, Kingdom Come[16]

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.[17][18]

1988–1989 Damaged Justice Europe: September 11 – November 5, 1988
North America: November 15, 1988 – April 21, 1989
Pacific Rim: May 1–27, 1989
North America: May 31 – September 23, 1989
South America: October 4–7, 1989
222 Danzig, Queensrÿche, Faith No More, Mortal Sin, The Cult[19][20][21]

The tour supported the band's fourth album, ...And Justice for All.[22] The August 29 and 30, 1989 shows in Seattle were later released in the box set Live Shit: Binge & Purge.[23]