Metallica, one of the most iconic and influential heavy metal bands of all time, made history on December 14 by playing their first-ever concert in Saudi Arabia. The performance took place during the opening night of the three-day Soundstorm festival in Riyadh. While Metallica was not the first international metal band to perform in the country (that honor goes to Cryptopsy), their show was still a momentous occasion that marked a significant milestone for both the band and the Saudi Arabian music scene.
The setlist for Metallica’s historic concert in Saudi Arabia included a mix of their classic hits and fan favorites. The band kicked off the night with the powerful and energetic “Creeping Death,” setting the tone for an unforgettable evening. They followed it up with the iconic “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” which further ignited the crowd’s excitement.
As the night progressed, Metallica treated the audience to a range of their most beloved songs, including “Wherever I May Roam,” “The Memory Remains,” and “Lux Æterna.” The band showcased their musical versatility with tracks like “Too Far Gone?” and the emotionally charged “Fade To Black.”
One of the highlights of the evening was the performance of “Fuel,” a high-octane anthem that had the crowd headbanging and singing along. The instrumental masterpiece “Orion” allowed Metallica to demonstrate their technical prowess and musicianship, captivating the audience with its intricate melodies and powerful riffs.
Metallica’s ballads also struck a chord with the Saudi Arabian crowd. The emotional “Nothing Else Matters” showcased the band’s ability to create heartfelt and introspective music, while the heavy and introspective “Sad But True” resonated with the audience on a deeper level.
The band closed their set with “The Unforgiven” and “Seek,” leaving the crowd wanting more. Metallica’s electrifying performance in Saudi Arabia was a testament to their enduring popularity and the universal appeal of their music.
The significance of Metallica’s concert in Saudi Arabia extends beyond the music itself. The event marks a significant step forward for the country’s entertainment industry, which has been gradually opening up to international acts in recent years. The show not only provided Saudi Arabian fans with an opportunity to witness a legendary band live but also showcased the country’s growing acceptance of diverse musical genres.
Metallica’s performance in Saudi Arabia is a testament to the power of music to transcend cultural boundaries and bring people together. It serves as a reminder that the universal language of music can bridge gaps and foster understanding, even in places where cultural differences may seem insurmountable.
Overall, Metallica’s first-ever concert in Saudi Arabia was a historic moment for both the band and the country. By delivering an electrifying performance and captivating the audience with their timeless music, Metallica has left an indelible mark on the Saudi Arabian music scene. The event signifies a new era for music in the country and paves the way for future international acts to bring their music to Saudi Arabian audiences.
Metallica played its first-ever concert in Saudi Arabia December 14 during the opening night of the three-day Soundstorm festival in Riyadh.
While they’re not the first international metal band to play the country (Cryptopsy beat ’em to it), the show was still a very big deal.
Metallica’s setlist ran as follows:
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Wherever I May Roam
The Memory Remains
Too Far Gone?
Fade To Black
Nothing Else Matters
Sad But True
Seek & Destroy
Master Of Puppets
“We’re not done with 2023 just yet, as an amazing opportunity has just come our way to perform at a major festival that we have never played in a part of the world we rarely get to visit,” said Metallica of the performance at the time of its announcement.
“We’re excited to announce that on Thursday, December 14 we’ll be the first hard rock band to ever play at @MDLBeast’s Soundstorm Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Festival and single-day tickets are available now at mdlbeast.com.”
Metallica is currently the only band to ever play shows on all seven continents, having played their Freeze ‘Em All concert on December 8, 2013 in Antarctica. So now they’ve just gotta play every country and then they’re good… until shows in the Mariana Trench and/or space start happening.