Earlier this week, it was teased that The Big 4 tour — comprised of top thrash metal acts Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax — would be coming to America. When the announcement was made yesterday, it turned out to be only one U.S. concert date in Indio, California on April 23, 2011 [read: WTF? The Big 4 To Play A Small 1: Only One U.S. Show Announced], much to the dismay of metalheads across the nation.
We’ve all been left wondering WHY there’s only one U.S. concert being offered when it’s obvious there’s a demand for this bill in America. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich gave an explanation for this in a Los Angeles radio station interview.
On yesterday’s “The Kevin & Bean Show” on KROQ-FM (106.7), Ulrich said, “Let’s take baby steps here.”
“Listen, we don’t wanna cram this down people’s throats. We don’t wanna sort of overstay the welcome, and we don’t know what kind of response there’s gonna be to this in America, so we’re starting, obviously, without being disrespectful to the rest of the wonderful country…
He also went on to say that the reason they choose the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California (which is host to the annual Coachella festival), is that three of the four bands have a history in Southern California (aside from New York band Anthrax, the other three groups hail from California).
Ulrich also said that there’s a chance that more U.S. shows could be added if there’s a demand for it, and also expressed concern about the tour turning into a “nostalgia trip.”
“If there is enough demand for it, obviously there’s a very strong possibility that there’ll be more shows, but we don’t wanna overextend the welcome and we also don’t wanna turn it into something that becomes this whole nostalgia trip that’s gonna sort of be, ‘Okay, now it’s just gonna be this for the next few years,’ and ‘Celebrate the past.’ So it’s a balancing act, you know.”
Head on over to Blabbermouth to listen to Ulrich’s radio interview.
Tickets for the California show go on sale this Friday (January 28, 2011) at 10AM PST through Ticketmaster (visit The Big 4 Facebook page for details).
Now, let’s take a look at this explanation, shall we?
Ulrich acting like they’re not sure if there’s a “demand” for this tour in the United States is just bullshit, plain and simple. Metallica sells out arenas all across the country all on their own, and just the fact that they’re touting this tour bill as “The Big 4” means they all know that metalheads everywhere WANT THIS! So please, don’t patronize us by saying you’re waiting to see what the demand is in the States for this tour.
And the “we don’t want to cram it down peoples’ throats” comment, are you f’n kidding me? This is the tour metal fans have been waiting for for over 25 years already! Ugh…
Ok, fine, I’ll give him the whole “nostalgia” worry. I can understand why Metallica, a band that is still making new music and is profitable making that new music, would not want to be hitched onto a throwback tour. The other three bands, while they are still making new music as well, have had to get by on the strength of their back catalog. In the Fall of 2010, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax did tour together, playing half-venues that were not sold out, with Slayer performing their entire Seasons In The Abyss album and Megadeth all of their Rust In Peace record (both albums hit their 20-year anniversary last year). Therefore, Metallica’s logic is sound on this one, but again, please don’t act like a “nostalgia trip” wouldn’t be welcomed by the fans!
Reading between the lines what I hear Ulrich saying is that Metallica — which sells out massive venues all across the world and is undoubtedly the major draw amongst the four — does NOT want to be saddled with the other bands for the next year or two on a tour. Again, I understand their logic, but why not just plan a modest U.S. tour for this Summer playing outdoor sheds, like Jones Beach here in New York, if you’re so concerned about commitment, draw, and demand (all of which are, as we’ve established, bullshit, except for the commitment part)?
Let me say, I LOVE these four bands beyond belief, and seeing them play a tour together would be a dream come true for me, but damnit Metallica, why do you always have to ruin things?! We know you’re the giants, we know you’re still friggin’ rolling around in that Black Album money, we know you can only partially tolerate the members of the other bands who resent the fuck out of you for making it big, but c’mon, give the people what they want!
Lastly, when trying to convey a pacifying message to pissed-off fans, don’t send out Lars Ulrich. After the Napster debacle, he just can’t pull off sincerity, especially when half of what’s being said is pure bullshit anyhow. Next time, please, send out sweet and gentle Kirk Hammett, we’re more inclined to believe him — or at least, give him the benefit of the doubt — anyhow.
So, what can we take away from this recent explanation? Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, and maybe more shows will be added in the United States… maybe.