Metallica kicks off its first full-scale North American tour in nine years tonight (May 10) in Baltimore.
The stadium trek will feature Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat and Gojira opening, as well as a stop at the Rock On the Range festival May 21 in Columbus, Ohio and run through mid-August.
Metallica has already played shows in Asia and South America to promote Hardwired...To Self-Destruct, its first new album in eight years, and guitarist Kirk Hammett tells us the band is excited to bring the material back home this summer:
"We're very, very excited about it and we're very excited to be able to do it playing new songs and bringing new material to all our fans out there...I really feel like I'm playing better than I ever have, which kind of blows me away because I've been playing guitar for a long time. But I can kinda tell I'm getting better, still. I'm really excited to go out on stage and just play because I love playing live. I love live shows, and I feel like I'm playing better than ever. I just want to go out and bring it to the people."
After the North American leg wraps up August 16 in Edmonton Metallica will take a couple of weeks off before kicking off a European tour on September 2 in Cophenagen, Denmark.
...Meanwhile, the group has announced an appearance on Monday (May 15), on CBS' The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.