Metallica Celebrate 40 Years of Live Shows With Mind-Blowing Performance

by Caitlin Berard

In 1981, a seventeen-year-old Lars Ulrich, desperate to escape a future as a professional tennis player (yes, really), put an ad in the local paper. In the ad, the teen announced that he was a drummer in search of a band. More specifically, he was on the hunt for musicians who shared his passion for metal.

Guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield answered, and together, the two prepared to release their first song, “Hit the Lights” on the upcoming Metal Massacre I compilation album. Unfortunately, they were credited as “Mettallica” rather than the moniker Ulrich had carefully chosen – Metallica.

Despite the mix-up, the song was a hit, earning the young band their first live show at Radio City in Anaheim, California, in the spring of 1982. Shortly thereafter, British heavy metal icons, Saxon, invited Metallica to open for them during a stop on their US tour. From there, the pioneers of the blistering new genre, thrash metal, quickly began to pick up steam.

Throughout the next twenty years, the band went through several major changes, including two new members, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo, and a shift away from its signature thrash metal sound.

Despite the ever-evolving landscape of Metallica, the band continued to grow. And eventually, Metallica became such a titan of music that they transcended metal. What began as a ragtag group of teenage metalheads in a Los Angeles garage is now one of the most well-known musical acts in the world, regardless of genre.

Metallica Give a Stellar Performance in Pittsburgh, PA

Thankfully, the band ultimately abandoned their search for new sounds and returned to the classic Metallica of the ’80s. Not only was this a relief to those who prefer Ride the Lightning to Load but it opened the door to the resurgence they’re now enjoying.

After 40 years of touring, Metallica is still giving fans the mind-blowing performance of the ’80s, just on a much larger scale. And to wrap up their 40th touring season, they put on a phenomenal show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The trash metal icons played all the classics. After setting the tone with “Whiplash,” the scorching track from their debut album Kill Em All, they then moved on to the 1984 song “Creeping Death” from Ride the Lightning.

As if that wasn’t enough, they finished off the opening trio with the song that never fails to blow the roof from any building in which it’s played, “Enter Sandman.”

For close to two hours, Metallica blasted through 16 of their greatest hits. “Dirty Window” can even get a pass because it came between so many unbelievable tracks.

As the final track, Metallica, of course, brought out “Master of Puppets,” which recently charted for the first time since 1986 thanks to a truly fantastic feature in Stranger Things. The sky erupted with fireworks as the massive crowd went wild, proving that after four decades, Metallica is just as iconic as ever.