Here are all the songs Metallica have never played live

Metallica’s James Hetfield onstage with his arms spread wide
(Image credit: C Brandon/Redferns)

Metallica are officially on the way back. The band’s much anticipated 11th album, 72 Seasons, was announced with no prior warning at the end of November, along with banging new single Lux Æterna. And then there’s epic M72 world tour that kicks off in 2023 and goes right through into 2024. 

Those dates promise to be something special. Metallica are set to play two shows in every city, with a completely different set each night. This is good news, because it gives them the chance to properly shake things up setlist-wise. Be honest, how many more times do you really need to hear Seek And Destroy, Enter Sandman or Master Of Puppets? Of course, they’re never going to drop any of those big-hitters permanently, but the double-show set up means they can dig deep into their vast back catalogue and pull out one of the 17 songs they’ve never played before.

That’s right, there are a handful of Metallica tracks that have never been aired live. While they’ve rinsed everything on every album from Kill ’Em All through to the Black Album, there’s still plenty of stuff from the latter part of their career that deserves their time in the sun, even if it is for one night only.

We consulted (opens in new tab) – aka the Bible of all things setlist-related – to check out the Metallica songs that have never been played in concert. To avoid chaos and confision, we’re keeping it to studio albums and EPs and disregarding cover versions and collaborations (sorry not sorry, Lulu). 

Here here they are – the 17 officially released Metallica songs that have never been played live.


Metal Hammer line break


Unsurprisingly, Metallica have played everything from their first five albums multiple times (with the exception of Ride The Lightning song Escape, which has grudgingly been aired just the once). But only 10 of Load’s 14 tracks have all made regular or semi-regular appearances in the band’s set in the years since that album was released. The exceptions are The House That Jack Built, Cure, Thorn Within and the country-fried ballad Ronnie. Will we see any of these dusted down on the upcoming M72 tour? 


Viewed by many with even less regard than its predecessor, the perception of 1997’s Reload as an afterthought was underlined by the fact that Metallica only played a handful of shows in support of it. While the likes of Fuel and The Memory Remains have regularly popped up over the years, six of its 13 songs have yet to make to make their live debut, namely: Better Than You, Slither, Bad Seed (though the band have teased it as part of a jam), Where The Wild Things Are, Prince Charming and the perpetually under-rated Attitude.

St Anger

Amazingly, given the scorn heaped on Metallica’s divisive 2003 album, all but four of the songs that appear on St Anger have been played at least once. The tracks left standing in their gym shorts, waiting to be picked for the sports team are: My World, Shoot Me Again, Purify and, surprisingly, Invisible Kid, one of the album’s few real highlights. Come on Metallica, let them have a run out at least once.

Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

While Death Magnetic has been picked clean by the years of touring that followed it, two tracks from 2016‘s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct remain unplayed. Murder One and the monolithic Am I Savage? are the songs in question – surely the latter could be swapped in for the not entirely dissimilar Sad But True at a couple of gigs?  

72 Seasons

OK, so none of the 12 tracks set to appear on Metallica’s upcoming album 72 Seasons has been played live yet, but we’re going to include the titanic comeback single Lux Æterna here purely because it’s the one song from the album we’ve actually. Though we’d put good money on it being the very first song Metallica do play whenever they return to the stage…

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.