ICYMI: Metallica played its longest song for the first time ever in Munich

Metallica recently played its longest song live in concert, for the first time ever. Here are some details about that, as well as what;s gone into their tour, as it winds down this summer.
I-Days Festival In Milan
I-Days Festival In Milan / Francesco Prandoni/GettyImages

As some classic rck and metal artists are winding down their careers for good, some will no doubt be glad that some are still going reasonably strong. On Sunday night, May 26, 2024, Metallica played the second show of the M72 tour's 2024 leg at Olympiastadion in Munich, Germany. This tour supports their latest album, 72 Seasons, and features two-night, no-repeat performances in each city.

Metallica's concert experience is unique, with a massive ring-shaped stage, the Snake Pit at its center, and four drum sets spaced around the stage to bring drummer Lars Ulrich closer to the audience throughout the show. The band also is not afraid to perform outside of their genre a bit, even performing an Elton John song recently, to celebrate John and collaborator Bernie Taupin receiving the Gershwin Prize.

The Munich show in question opened with "Creeping Death," followed by "Harvester of Sorrow" and "Hit the Lights." Classic tracks such as "Fight Fire With Fire," "One," and "Enter Sandman" were also performed, alongside three songs from 72 Seasons: the title track, "If Darkness Had a Son," and "Inamorata," which was played live for the first time.

James Hetfield, Metallica's frontman, introduced "Inamorata" by telling the crowd, "This next song, we have never, ever played live before. And, you know, in our band, we don't recognize the word 'mistake,' because there are no mistakes; there's just unique moments that happen, all right? That's what we need to tell ourselves. This one is from 72 Seasons. It's one of my favorites, so I'm gonna like it [love it or hate it, it is linked right below!]."

More on Metallica's epic-length "Inamorata"

"Inamorata," the longest Metallica song to date at 11 minutes and 10 seconds, closes the 72 Seasons album. Hetfield discussed the song's inspiration in a track-by-track breakdown video, describing it as having "a love affair with misery." He elaborated, "A long classic song that screamed out to end the album. Really, really cool riffs in it, really great groove. I love the way it rounds this thing out."

Bassist Robert Trujillo commented on the bass breakdown in "Inamorata" in Metallica's So What! fan-club magazine, saying, "I believe James had a vision of having this sort of Sabbath-y, 'Geezer-esque' moment where the bass is sort of a naked moment, here's this beautiful-yet-dark statement coming from the bass guitar. It feels raw, but at the same time, it's got this dark beauty to it." He likened the song to driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, with its raw and beautiful elements reminiscent of the ocean and coastline.

James Hetfield gets stage fright?

Hetfield reflected on his mindset for the 2024 leg of the M72 tour, telling The Metallica Report about the initial anxiety and subsequent enjoyment of performing on the massive stage. He mentioned the adjustments made to the stage since the 2023 shows, such as adding extra microphones and monitors, to enhance the performance.

Metallica is winding down its touring of Europe this summer, with its stops in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, France, and Poland, before returning to North America on August 2 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The tour will end with four shows in Mexico City at the end of September.

Metallica's massive touring operation and charity work

Metallica's production travels in 87 trucks, with 45 for the band and its setup, and two groups of 21 for the steel stage and towers. The band employs a crew of 130 people, plus additional local hires. According to Billboard, 80% to 90% of fans at each concert attend both shows.

The M72 tour, which launched in April 2023 in Amsterdam, features opening acts like Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills, Mammoth WVH, Pantera, Architects, Greta Van Fleet, and Volbeat. A portion of the tour's proceeds supports Metallica's All Within My Hands foundation, which focuses on combating food insecurity, providing disaster relief, and offering scholarships.