Longtime heavy metal band Metallica, one of the most influential groups in the history of the genre, has just announced their latest gig, and it’s a pretty big one! The band will be the headlining act at the first ever rock concert to take place at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which recently also became the home arena for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.
Scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 20, the concert is part of the schedule of events for opening weekend. Tickets will go on sale next Friday, March 25 and are expected to sell out fast. Besides Metallica, the show will also feature Volbeat and, in a rare U.S. appearance for the year, Avenged Sevenfold.
According to drummer Lars Ulrich, the inspiration to play this show came from a previous football-related gig. “We had such an amazing time playing in our hometown stadium the night before the Super Bowl that when asked we couldn’t say ‘no’ to another chance to be part of a very special weekend,” he explained.
That the band was playing that weekend is likely a little-known fact about Metallica—one of many, in fact. Here are seven more:
1. The Foundation
Metallica was founded in 1981 by Ulrich and singer/guitarist James Hetfield when the two were still teens. But unlike many bands that are started at a young age, the two weren’t friends or classmates; they met when Hetfield answered Ulrich’s want ad posted in their local newspaper in Los Angeles! The band became official five months later.
2. Naming Convention
Names for the band, as suggested by a friend of Ulrich, were MetalMania and Metallica; Ulrich, of course, went with the latter. Unfortunately, when the band made its first appearance on an album—a compilation titled Metal Massacre—the name was misspelled with an extra “T,” reading “Mettallica.”
3. Popularity Contest
With nine studio albums to their name, there is likely some dispute between fans about what the group’s most popular song is. “Enter Sandman” may be the most well-known due to its media presence, with several parodies existing and the track often being used at sporting events. However, the most popular, at least according to fans, is “Master of Puppets,” which is the most requested song at live events.
4. A Record-Breaking Record
Metallica’s self-titled album, usually referred to as “The Black Album” due to its cover, was released on August 21, 1991. Now, almost 25 years later, it remains one of the best-selling albums in the world and the best-selling in the history of the “SoundScan era,” which saw the use of the Nielsen SoundScan to track sales. It has sold 16 million copies and is 16x platinum.
5. Cover to Cover
Metallica is also known for some of its iconic album covers, but two in particular stand out. One is 1984’s Ride the Lightning, which saw 400 copies released with the cover in green instead of the proper blue due to a French pressing error. The other is 1996’s Load, an original artwork made from a combination of Plexiglas, bovine blood, and the artist’s own semen.
6. Every Little Bit Helps
The band currently employs 83 full-time staff members to help them run the brand. And if Lars Ulrich’s personal assistant Barbara is any indication, they also help run the band themselves; Barbara reportedly does everything for him, including menial tasks such as putting his watch on for him!
7. Clause and Effect
James Hetfield, besides his musical talents, is also an avid skateboarder. Unfortunately, his hobby has done his music career more harm than good, having broken his arm multiple times; needless to say, it’s hard to play guitar with a broken arm. As a result, his management company was forced to add a clause to his contract stating he cannot ride a skateboard during a tour.