Metallica Perform “The Black Album” in Full from Back to Front at Louder Than Life

The Sunday gig was the metal titans' second one of the Louisville fest, having also played Friday

Metallica Louder Than Life Black Album
Lars Ulrich, left, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo of Metallica perform at Louder Than Life Festival (photo by Amy Harris)

    Metallica treated fans at Louder Than Life to a full performance of “The Black Album” on Sunday night (September 26th). In honor of its 30th anniversary, the metal titans played the mega-selling LP from back to front at the festival in Louisville, Kentucky.

    The gig was Metallica’s second of the fest, having been booked to play two distinct sets on Friday and Sunday night. On Friday, Metallica played no songs from “The Black Album,” perhaps hinting that a full album performance was coming on Sunday.

    The Sunday set started with three songs from other albums — “Hardwired,” “The Four Horseman,” and “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).” Then, a 30th anniversary “Black Album” interlude was played with video images of the band members (including former bassist Jason Newsted) before Metallica launched into the 1991 LP’s closing track “The Struggle Within” (played for the first time since 2012).


    From there, Metallica performed the “Black Album” tracklist backwards, culminating with album opener “Enter Sandman.” For the encore they returned to play two more non-“Black Album” songs — “Blackened” and “Creeping Death.”

    Friday night’s show featured a career-spanning setlist (minus “The Black Album”), including three songs from Ride the Lightning and no more than two songs from any other album. The performances of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “No Leaf Clover” were aired as part of Saturday’s Global Citizen festival broadcast.

    Earlier in the evening at Louder Than Life on Sunday, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett joined Judas Priest onstage for a metal rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Green Manalashi.”

    Metallica’s full performance of “The Black Album” is the latest 30th anniversary celebration of the top-selling album of the Soundscan era (17 million copies sold in the US alone). Earlier this month, Metallica band released a super-deluxe box set edition of “The Black Album,” as well as The Metallica Blacklist, a compilation of more than 50 covers of the LP’s 12 songs by artists such as Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Corey Taylor, Ghost, and more.


    See the setlist and video footage of Sunday’s “Black Album” set, as well as Kirk Hammett jamming with Judas Priest, and the Friday performances that aired on the Global Citizen broadcast below.

    Metallica Sunday Night Louder Than Life Setlist:
    The Four Horsemen
    Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

    The Black Album (in reverse order):
    The Struggle Within
    My Friend of Misery
    The God That Failed
    Of Wolf and Man
    Nothing Else Matters
    Through the Never
    Don’t Tread on Me
    Wherever I May Roam
    The Unforgiven
    Holier Than Thou
    Sad but True
    Enter Sandman

    Creeping Death

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