BackHistory: Part Six

And as the 'World Magnetic' tour pressed on, it was documented via two very special releases. Following three sold-out nights in Mexico City at Foro Sol Stadium in June of 2009, the live DVD Orgullo, Pasión y Gloria: Tres Noches en la Ciudad de México (directed by Wayne Isham) saw the band offering something special for their Latin American fan base, as the release only available in Mexico, Central and South America (and of course!). The summer of '09 also saw a very special performance from, of all places, an ancient Roman amphitheater: The Arena of Nimes in Nimes, France. The show was subsequently released as a French-only' DVD entitled Français Pour Une Nuit. The remainder of the year saw the band rocking through Europe and in North American arenas, finishing the year with a uproarious Bay Area crowd December at San Jose, California's hp Pavilion.

2009 wasn't all just DVDs and arena tours, of course. There was, in April, the small matter of Metallica's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. A memorable night saw Cliff Burton's father, Ray, and Jason Newsted reunite on stage for the induction. What followed were blistering, suited-and-booted performances of "Master Of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman" which saw Newsted jamming with his former band mates for the first time in years. Amidst the ongoing '...Magnetic' tour, there was also a very special evening at Madison Square Garden in New York, when on October 30, 2009 Metallica played the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary benefit concert. Other performers on the bill included U2, Mick Jagger, the Black Eyes Peas and Aretha Franklin, but Metallica only got to prove their mettle (hah!) by collaborating with a select few legends. Playing with Lou Reed ("Sweet Jane" and "White Light/White Heat"), Ozzy Osbourne ("Iron Man" and "Paranoid") plus Ray Davies of The Kinks ("You Really Got Me" and "All Day And All of The Night"), it was a very special evening which underscored the range and dynamics of the band's musical abilities.

2010 saw the band kick-off the year by returning to South American for the first time in over ten years, with additional shows in Central America and Mexico during January and March, respectively (which also included the band playing in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Panama for the first time ever!). After thoroughly dominating Latin America, Metallica took to Europe yet again in April for a Spring that was a mixture of arena dates and festivals as a series of historic Sonisphere dates loomed on the horizon. The bill for these monumental June shows? Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax...the fabled Big 4 of modern heavy metal. Any quips, comments or complaints exchanged between the quartet in the past had long-since evaporated by the time the bands met in Warsaw, Poland on June 16, 2010 for the first of seven Sonisphere dates together. Indeed, the old friendships rekindled, the vibe was electric and the balance perfect as each band consistently delivered storming sets to hundreds of thousands of satisfied fans. Historically, the show in Sofia on June 22 was beamed back to over 1,000 cinemas around the world, a same-day performance broadcast slightly delayed due to time differences. And as if this wasn't enough, there was a live DVD, blu-ray and box-set cunningly titled The Big 4 Live From Sofia, Bulgaria with box-setters getting a Big 4 pick, two DVDs documenting the entire show, five live CDs too, a 24 page booklet, and a photo of each band.

Not stopping to catch their breath, the boys went all antipodean for the final leg(s) of the tour as they headed down to Australia and New Zealand THREE TIMES to close out the 'World Magnetic' tour in front of screaming fans from Christchurch to Perth to Sydney (they also slid two Tokyo dates in there during September). Finally, on November 21, 2010 in Melbourne, Metallica played the last show of the 'World Magnetic' tour, before heading home for a spot of hibernation.