During an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation Power Trip Special", METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke about the band's ongoing "M72" world tour, which features two-night stops in nearly two dozen cities. Presented worldwide by Liquid Death and Blackened American Whiskey (in North America only) and promoted by Live Nation, the 46-show trek launched in Amsterdam on April 27 and will include shows all over Europe and North America through 2024. Each "No Repeat Weekend" on "M72" features two completely different setlists and support lineups.
Regarding the idea of playing two different sets in every city, Lars said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's really, really fun, and it seems like it's connecting with the fans out there. Honestly, and I think I've circled this a couple of times, it took a little while for the whole thing to settle, 'cause you're kind of, 'Okay, what are we doing?' And these ideas, like I've also said before, some of these ideas, they seem good in theory on an e-mail chain or whenever you're sitting talking about, 'Yeah, next year, let's do this, let's do that.' And then it's, like, 'Holy shit. We're actually doing it.' And then you've gotta get that together and then you've gotta get used to the new stage and then you've gotta get used to a whole new slew of things. But it really felt like by the time we got to America in early August out at MetLife [stadium in New Jersey], it really felt like we were kind of finding the groove of it. And it's been a lot of fun. So we're doing the whole thing again next year and we're looking to see what's on the other side of that. But it's a fun format. It's a fun stage."
He continued: "As you know, we've played in the round for many years, but we've never played in the round in like the football stadiums, and that's fun as fuck. The main thing, when you're playing in the round, is just you feel like you're closer to a bigger part of the fans. And so when you're in the middle, it just feels that — I know the word 'intimate' is maybe not the first word that comes to mind when you're playing at MetLife or SoFi or these places, but it feels like it's as intimate as it can get in those types of situations. And when you have as many of the fans as close as they are, it really feels like you're just connecting with more people and more fans and to play, it's more fun. It's definitely something that we're loving. And next year should be great. We're doing another run of shows in America. And so we're looking forward to doing the whole thing over again next year."
Ulrich also talked about how the material from METALLICA's latest album, "72 Seasons", has been going over live on the "M72" tour. He said: "Yeah, I think we're about eight of the songs in. It's settled well, These songs are fun as fuck also to play. They're certainly right in the current mindset, current wheelhouse. And they feel like they're connecting. You never know. There's two steps: one is they're connecting with you as a band, and then they also have, after you kind of feel like you've figured them out or you own them or whatever, then they also have to connect with the audience, with the fans. And it feels like [the title track] '72 Seasons', 'Lux [Æterna]'… We just started playing the song 'Shadows Follow'. 'Too Far Gone?' was a later addition. And it's really fun. And to get the feedback from the fans is cool. It feels like they're slotting right in, and it's not blah, blah, blah, 'Oh, no. Here's a new song,' and then there's a mass exodus for the merchandise stand or whatever."
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.
This past April, Ulrich told Japanese music critic and radio personality Masa Ito of TVK's "Rock City" about the "M72" tour: "[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.
"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…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."