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Metallica Postpones Glendale Concert Due to James Hetfield’s Positive Covid-19 Test




Heavy metal legends Metallica have been forced to reschedule their upcoming concert in Phoenix following a Covid-19 diagnosis for their frontman, James Hetfield. The event, originally scheduled for September 3 at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, will now take place on September 9, 2023.

The Announcement:

In a statement shared on its official X account (previously known as Twitter), the band reported:

  • “We’re very sorry to report that tomorrow’s scheduled M72 date at State Farm Stadium has been postponed to Saturday, September 9, 2023, as, unfortunately, Covid has caught up with James.”
  • “We’re extremely disappointed and regret any inconvenience this has caused you. We look forward to returning to complete the M72 No Repeat Weekend in Glendale next Saturday.”

The Scenario Leading to the Decision:

Prior to this announcement, the band’s Friday, September 1 performance at the same venue was cut short by two tracks. While this move was initially attributed to “vocal issues” suffered by Hetfield, it now becomes clearer that health concerns played a role. James seemed to be struggling, passing more lead-singing duties to the audience as the night progressed. This deviation from their typical set, which usually culminated with “Master Of Puppets”, raised suspicions among the fans and media alike.

Details from the Shortened Set:

  1. Creeping Death
  2. Harvester Of Sorrow
  3. Holier Than Thou
  4. King Nothing
  5. Lux Æterna
  6. Too Far Gone?
  7. Fade To Black
  8. Shadows Follow
  9. Orion
  10. Nothing Else Matters
  11. Sad But True
  12. Hardwired
  13. Fuel
  14. Seek & Destroy

The “M72” Tour – A Closer Look:

Metallica’s M72 tour is not just about concerts. It’s a unique experience for fans. Key features include:

  • A bold new in-the-round stage design with the METALLICA Snake Pit at center stage.
  • The “I Disappear” full-tour pass and discounted tickets for fans under 16 years of age.
  • A promise of over 30 songs spanning the band’s 40-plus-year career, with no repetitions.
  • Enhanced experiences like meet-and-greets, stage tours, and more.
  • A single “I Disappear” ticket offers access to numerous headlining tour dates worldwide in 2023 and 2024.
  • Performances in 22 different cities globally, with two nights in each city.
  • Supporting acts from big names like FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, ICE NINE KILLS, MAMMOTH WVH, and others.

Covid-19 in the U.S.:

The postponement comes amidst rising Covid-19 cases in the U.S. The dominant strain, the EG.5 variant, a derivative of the XBB recombinant strain from the Omicron family, is the main culprit. Though the severity of infections remains relatively low compared to the pandemic’s onset, experts warn of a potential resurgence and more cases than what’s currently captured in data.

Implications for the Entertainment Industry:

The rescheduling of Metallica’s concert isn’t an isolated event. Across the globe, the entertainment sector, which includes concerts, theatre performances, and sports events, is continuously navigating the unpredictable waters of the pandemic. The challenge lies not just in the financial implications but also in ensuring the health and safety of both performers and attendees.

  • Safety First: Artists, crew members, and support staff face risks each time a performance takes place. Measures like regular testing, vaccination drives, and quarantine protocols have become standard.
  • Economic Impact: With cancellations and reschedules becoming common, revenue streams are affected. This impacts not just the artists but also the broader ecosystem – from event organizers to local businesses that rely on event-driven footfall.
  • Fan Experience: While artists and bands like Metallica are making every effort to maintain the quality of their shows, the experience for fans has undeniably changed. Reduced capacities, mask mandates, and social distancing measures are now part and parcel of live events.

For Ticket Holders:

All tickets for the September 3 show will be honored on September 9. Those seeking refunds or more details due to scheduling conflicts should visit SeatGeek. For ongoing updates, fans are advised to monitor and the band’s social media channels.

In conclusion, while fans may be disappointed with the postponement, it underscores the ongoing challenges the entertainment industry faces amid the pandemic. It’s a stark reminder for everyone to stay safe and vigilant. As the world slowly adapts to the “new normal,” events like these remind us of the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 virus and its potential to disrupt daily life and large-scale events alike.