During a recent discussion with Masa Ito, a renowned Japanese music critic and radio host from TVK’s “Rock City”, Lars Ulrich, the drummer of METALLICA, spoke about the band’s “M72” global tour, which includes two-night performances in almost 24 cities.
Speaking about performing two different sets in each city, Lars said: “[It’s] definitely exciting, definitely a little crazy. But it’s fun spirited, of course, and a little overwhelming, to be honest with you.
“The concept was born out of a gentleman named Danny Wimmer who runs a series of festivals in America. And I guess about four years ago now, he came to us and asked us if we would play six or eight of his festivals, and we would bookend the festival. We would play Friday and Sunday, and somebody else would play Saturday. And we would play Friday and Sunday — completely different sets — and bookend the festival.
“That sounded interesting, unique and crazy cool, so we said yes. And we had six, seven, maybe eight of those scheduled for 2020. Then the pandemic and lockdown came, and obviously that all went away. By the time we circled into the fall of ’21, we went out and did three of those. And it was fun. We survived it. And it felt like it connected with an audience. And for us, it was an opportunity to do kind of a blank canvas experiment of just starting completely over, which is always fun and appreciated in the METALLICA camp. So when we were trying to figure out for the next record, we thought this concept of going around the world and playing two nights in every city and doing this would be fun.
“So, here we go. ‘No Repeat Weekend’. We’re not repeating any of the songs from one show to the other,” he continued. “It seems like a really good idea. It’s also, obviously, gonna be a big undertaking. But I think it will be fun. I think the buzz is good.
“I’m not sure these days, to be honest with you, if everybody really understands what it is we’re doing,” Lars added. “I’m not sure we understand what it is we’re doing. But I’ve heard myself talk about it now for a couple of weeks, and certainly everybody on our team is doing the best they can to get the message out there. It started off as one ticket for two shows, and then we let some single-day tickets be available for people that couldn’t make both shows.
“Obviously, both shows, two shows is a big commitment for a lot of people; I understand that. So I don’t know the idea that if people go to a show on one day, if they understand that there may not be certain toe-tapping favorites, as they may be called, that they will not hear. I don’t know if they fully understand that concept, and I don’t know if it matters. At the end of the day, it’s a fun experiment, and when you’ve been playing for as long as we have and playing as many shows as we have, I think it’s important to keep coming up with new ideas, to keep it fresh for the fans and fresh for yourselves. So hopefully this will connect. It’s certainly exciting.”