During an appearance on the latest episode of the KISS podcast "Shout It Out Loudcast", TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider was asked for his opinion on METALLICA's decision to present a "No Repeat Weekend" at each stop on the band's ongoing "M72" world tour, with the San Francisco Bay Area metal legends playing two shows in each city with completely different setlists. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I wasn't aware they were doing that, and credit to them, but I think it's kind of self-serving. And it really only appeals to a small percentage of the crowd. The majority of the people going to these shows — and not just [people who are going to see] METALLICA; [this also applies to bands like] KISS and TWISTED — they're there for the hits. The percentage of people who know the deeper cuts and are willing to accept not hearing 'Enter Sandman' one night, that's a very small bunch of people.
"When TWISTED first reunited, it was for that New York Steel show [in 2001] Eddie Trunk put on, and the [other] guys made the setlist and they wanted to put some deep cuts; they put some stuff from the bar days in there. And it was the first show back together and I didn't wanna make any waves. And I remember we played those songs and it was just dead and just about eight hands [raised in the air], like you could count the hands. 'They're playing 'Come Back',' which was never on an album; it was one of our big club songs. 'Yeah.' And after that, the guys said, 'All right. No more putting that stuff in the show,' because it's really self-serving; it caters to a very small part of the audience. Unless you're buying both — and that's maybe the idea… You know, shake 'em down, get 'em to buy both tickets so they're hearing every song 'cause they're diehards. But METALLICA's audience has grown so far beyond just hardcore fans. They have hits. And then I harken back to when IRON MAIDEN toured. Remember they played the entire new album; they refused to play any of their hits. Audience was furious. Bruce [Dickinson] was yelling at the crowd because they weren't getting into it. It was self-serving to do that. And the next year they came back, and it was the biggest hits only, 'cause they had to make up for that."
Snider went on to admit that he is personally "guilty" of "playing the same set over and over and over," telling the "Shout It Out Loudcast" hosts: "Unfortunately, you guys, and I'm pointing to you two, and people like you are the minority; they're not even close to the majority. You're 10%, 5%, 1% of the crowd who really want to hear those deep cuts and will savor it when they go into those songs.
"I'm just being honest," Dee continued. "Yes, the hardcore [fans] love to hear those extra songs, those special songs. The majority aren't hardcore, and they are filling up that arena, they're filling up that festival. They're here to hear the big songs, and that's when they light up, and you could see their reaction. I would often joke, 'Okay, we did the two big ones. You can go home now.' I would say to the crowd, 'Go home. Get an early start.' I'd tell the audience, 'You can leave now because you beat the rush at the parking lot. Now it's time for the real fans who still…' 'Cause we do 'We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'I Wanna Rock'. Like, 'We're Not Gonna Take It', we do [that as], like, seventh song in the set. And people would think… and I'd say, 'Good night,' and I'd walk off and I'd come back out. But there's people who say, 'Why aren't they saving that for, like, a third encore?' No. Let's get it over with. If that's what you're here for, I don't want you to wait and stand around board. I'd rather have you leave and make room for the other people who are really into this."
Dee also seemingly agreed with KISS frontman Paul Stanley about how "there isn't a real reward" in classic rock bands making new music, with fans preferring to hear the hits.
"I've heard Elton John talk about doing a new album," Snider said. "He was nervous about the new tour. Why? 'I have a new record. Every time I play new songs, the audience just glazes over.' Elton John! Billy Joel stopped writing new music. Why? Because people didn't care. Paul McCartney says, 'Every time I play a new song, I've gotta give 'em a little sugar. I've gotta give 'em… Like, I'll play a new song and I'll quickly play like one of the biggies.' Paul McCartney's afraid of losing the audience. It's a real thing.
"When the new music isn't selling nearly as good as your old music, you kind of say, 'Okay, we don't… This is self-serving for me to stand up here. I'm doing it for me.' So if you're gonna do it for yourself, METALLICA, you're gonna do it for yourself," Dee added. "Just own it and say, 'Hey, we write this music, we love this music, we wanna share it with you. We hope you like it too. But we're doing it for us first and foremost."
After this article was published earlier today, Dee took to his X, formerly known as Twitter, to share the story and he included the following message: "No need to call me, James (though I always love hearing from you). Read the article NOT just the headline. I wasn't attacking @Metallica . It was a broader discussion on heritage artists playing new music and the majority of the audiences lack of interest. #sadbuttrue".
Earlier this year, prior to the launch of the "M72" tour, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Japanese music critic and radio personality Masa Ito of TVK's "Rock City" about the prospect of playing two different sets in every city: "[It's] definitely exciting, definitely a little crazy. But it's fun spirited, of course, and a little overwhelming, to be honest with you.
"The concept was born out of a gentleman named Danny Wimmer who runs a series of festivals in America," he explained. "And I guess about four years ago now, he came to us and asked us if we would play six or eight of his festivals, and we would bookend the festival. We would play Friday and Sunday, and somebody else would play Saturday. And we would play Friday and Sunday — completely different sets — and bookend the festival. That sounded interesting, unique and crazy cool, so we said yes. And we had six, seven, maybe eight of those scheduled for 2020. Then the pandemic and lockdown came, and obviously that all went away. By the time we circled into the fall of '21, we went out and did three of those. And it was fun. We survived it. And it felt like it connected with an audience. And for us, it was an opportunity to do kind of a blank canvas experiment of just starting completely over, which is always fun and appreciated in the METALLICA camp. So when we were trying to figure out for the next record, we thought this concept of going around the world and playing two nights in every city and doing this would be fun.
"So, here we go. 'No Repeat Weekend'. We're not repeating any of the songs from one show to the other. It seems like a really good idea. It's also, obviously, gonna be a big undertaking. But I think it will be fun. I think the buzz is good.
"I'm not sure these days, to be honest with you, if everybody really understands what it is we're doing," Lars admitted. "I'm not sure we understand what it is we're doing. But I've heard myself talk about it now for a couple of weeks, and certainly everybody on our team is doing the best they can to get the message out there. It started off as one ticket for two shows, and then we let some single-day tickets be available for people that couldn't make both shows. Obviously, both shows, two shows is a big commitment for a lot of people; I understand that. So I don't know the idea that if people go to a show on one day, if they understand that there may not be certain toe-tapping favorites, as they may be called, that they will not hear. I don't know if they fully understand that concept, and I don't know if it matters. At the end of the day, it's a fun experiment, and when you've been playing for as long as we have and playing as many shows as we have, I think it's important to keep coming up with new ideas, to keep it fresh for the fans and fresh for yourselves. So hopefully this will connect. It's certainly exciting."
The "M72" tour features a bold new in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed METALLICA Snake Pit to center stage, as well as the "I Disappear" full-tour pass and the debut of discounted tickets for fans under 16 years of age.
METALLICA is visiting a total of 22 different cities around the world and playing two nights in each city.
Opening acts include FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, ICE NINE KILLS, MAMMOTH WVH, PANTERA, ARCHITECTS, GRETA VAN FLEET and VOLBEAT.
METALLICA promises fans who purchase a two-day ticket that they won't see the same song twice for a total of over 30 songs spanning the band's 40-plus-year career.
Each weekend offers a variety of "Enhanced Experiences", ranging from access to a meet-and-greet, production and stage tour, food and beverage in the "Black Box" lounge to early entry into the venue and the Snake Pit. The very popular "Black Laminate" is back, now known as the "I Disappear Ticket", and is the ultimate pass for the fan who wants to run away with METALLICA for multiple weekends.
A single "I Disappear" ticket purchase gives you access to as many of METALLICA's 46 headlining tour dates across Europe and North America in 2023 and 2024 as you choose. You decide how many shows you'd like to attend around the world, and for how long, and METALLICA will make it as easy as possible.