9 Awesome Metallica Live Performances

From Wembley in London to a tiny space in Nashville, the metal legends know how to put on a show.

Written by Ilana Kaplan • Photography by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images • February 27, 2017

Over their multi-decade career, Metallica have shown off their blistering chops during tour stops, award shows, world tours and secret gigs. Maybe you've been lucky enough to be there. In honor of Metallica’s upcoming 2017 WorldWired tour (get tickets here), we went back in time to relive some of the band's best concert moments, so far...

Seattle Center Coliseum, 1989

At the Seattle stop on the Damaged Justice tour, Metallica opened with the dark, apocalyptic “Blackened,” fading into many mind-blowing guitar solos and eventually closing out the performance with B-side cover, “Breadfan.” With lots of sweat, their Seattle show proved to be one the many fans there would never forget.

Tushino Airfield, 1991

Back when the Soviet era had just ended, Metallica strutted into Moscow in 1991 to unleash everything from “Enter Sandman” to “Battery" at Tushino Airfield’s Monsters of Rock Festival, one of the largest concerts in history. 

San Diego Sports Arena, 1992

After Hetfield joked around with fans from the stage, the band powered into a medley of four long cuts from ...And Justice For All that featured the title track, “Eye of the Holder,” “Blackened" and "The Frayed Ends of Sanity.” 

L.A.'s Whisky A Go-Go, 1995

Metallica showed how deep their love for Motörhead was when they posed as a tribute band called The Lemmys for a club gig in Los Angeles. Sporting black sunglasses and long-haired wigs, the guys celebrated Lemmy Kilmister’s 50th birthday in style. The band played Motörhead favorites “Overkill,” “Too Late, Too Late" and “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch." 

Wembley, 2007

Metallica's 2007 show at Wembley Stadium in London was filled with classics. The sold-out crowd went into a frenzy for hits like opener “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and even belted out the entire first verse of “Sad But True.”

Grimey’s The Basement, 2008

If you were in Nashville in 2008, you may have been lucky enough to catch one of Metallica’s smallest shows in years. The intimate gig was at a place called The Basement, underneath Grimey’s New & Preloved Music. While the location could only hold about 150 people, Metallica’s reminded everything that they knew how to rock any size venue. One day later Metallica headlined Bonnaroo, so this was a special treat for fans who may not have made it to the Tennessee music festival -- and a double treat for those who did.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2009

Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica joined forces to to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 at Madison Square Garden. The combined legends basically became one big metal supergroup, performing Black Sabbath hits with Metallica as the unforgettable backing band.

The Fillmore, 2011

To commemorate their 30th anniversary, Metallica played four nights at the iconic The Fillmore in San Francisco. The band made these shows especially unforgettable with guest appearances from Lou Reed, Kid Rock, Rob Halford and more. Fans were in for a treat as Metallica debuted one new track each night, songs which would later become the Beyond Magnetic EP. It was a celebration Metallica and their fans would never forget.

AT&T Park, 2016

Metallica's set at this pre-Super Bowl show proved to be a fun night filled with early favorites like “Creeping Death” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and classics alike (including a three-song encore that ended with “Enter Sandman.”)

Metallica's 2017 WorldWired Tour Dates:

May 10: Baltimore, MD @ M&T Bank Stadium

May 12: Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field

May 14: East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium

May 17: Uniondale, NY @ New Coliseum

May 19: Boston, MA @ Gillette Stadium

May 21: Columbus, OH @ Rock On The Range Festival

June 4: St. Louis, MO @ Busch Stadium

June 7: Denver, CO @ Sports Authority Field

June 11: Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium

June 14: San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome

June 16: Dallas, TX @ AT&T Stadium

June 18: Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field

July 5: Orlando, FL @ Camping World Stadium

July 7: Miami, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium

July 9: Atlanta, GA @ Suntrust Park

July 12: Detroit, MI @ Comercia Park

July 14: Quebec City, QC @Festival D'Ete

July 16: Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre

July 19: Montreal, QB @ Parc Jean-Drapeau

July 29: Los Angeles, CA @ Rose Bowl

Aug. 4: Phoenix, AZ @ University of Phoenix Stadium

Aug. 6: San Diego, CA @ Petco Park

Aug. 9: Seattle, WA @ Centurylink Field

Aug. 14: Vancouver, BC @ BC Place

Aug. 16: Edmonton, AB @ Commonwealth Stadium