Metallica To Embark On First North American Tour In Four Years

The Sword, Down, Lamb of God and Machine Head tapped for 32-date trek, starting in October.

It has been four years since Metallica last toured North America, but in that time, the band has rocked millions of fans overseas, spending three of the last four summers playing the European festival circuit. It’s not that Metallica has been snubbing its U.S. and Canadian fans — the boys just didn’t have an album to promote. But now they do: Death Magnetic hits stores September 12, which means the band will be hitting the road again — this time, taking the Sword, Lamb of God, Down and Machine Head along for a 32-date tour that kicks off in late October.

“It’s our first full indoor tour in America,” guitarist Kirk Hammett told MTV News during a recent interview. “For the last three or four summers, we’ve been going over to Europe and doing all the festivals, and it looks like we just totally ignored our fans in America, but that’s not the case. As a consequence, the American fans miss us, and they want their Metallica, so this will be a good homecoming for them and us.”

Good things will come to those who’ve waited on October 21 in Glendale, Arizona, where the first leg of the trek begins. While the Sword have been tapped for the duration of the entire tour, Down — featuring former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo — will be on the tour only through the November 23 gig in New Orleans, their hometown.

The Sword have fans in Metallica — drummer Lars Ulrich digs them. Two years ago, during a chance meeting, Ulrich told the band he’d like to have them open for Metallica. “[We were talking to Lars, and he goes], ‘We’re going to take you guys on tour.’ And I’m just like, ‘Sure. This is one hell of an ego inflator, but I’ll believe it when I’m on it,’ ” recalled bassist Bryan Richie.

Despite earlier reports that Lamb of God had turned down an offer to open in order to focus on the recording of their next LP, the band will get in on the madness after all, starting December 1 in Seattle, when the tour’s second leg kicks off. They’ll be on the tour through December 20 in Oakland, California. Three weeks later, when the trek’s third and final leg gets under way in Milwaukee, Machine Head will join the bill and continue on through the tour’s finale, which is set for January 31 in Newark, New Jersey.

Metallica tour dates, according to their Web site:

» 10/21 – Glendale, AZ @ Jobing Arena
» 10/23 – Albquerque, NM @ Tingley Coliseum
» 10/25 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
» 10/26 – Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Arena
» 11/1 – Portland, OR @ Rose Quarter
» 11/3 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Energy Solutions Arena
» 11/4 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
» 11/6 – Omaha, NE @ Qwest Center
» 11/8 – Moline, IL @ iWireless Center
» 11/9 – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
» 11/17 – St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
» 11/18 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
» 11/20 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
» 11/22 – Little Rock, AR @ Alltel Arena
» 11/23 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Arena
» 12/1 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena
» 12/2 – Vancouver, BC @ GM Place
» 12/4 – Calgary, AB @ Pengrowth Saddledome
» 12/7 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
» 12/12 – Ontario, CA @ Citizens Bank Arena
» 12/13 – Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
» 12/15 – San Diego, CA @ Cox Arena
» 12/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
» 12/20 – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
» 1/12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Bradley Center
» 1/13 – Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena
» 1/15 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
» 1/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center
» 1/18 – Boston, MA @ TD Banknorth Center
» 1/26 – Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena
» 1/29 – Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
» 1/31 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center