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Metallica's two banger-stuffed setlists from Louder Than Life are here

Metallica onstage at Louder Than Life with fireworks
(Image credit: Danny Wimmer Presents/Nathan Zucker)

Earlier this month Metallica played their first live show in 738 days, performing at the 500-capacity Independent in San Francisco. Four days later they took to the stage again, at the 1100-seat Metro in Chicago.

These intimate shows were a warm-up for the band's return to the big stage at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky, where the band played two sets over the weekend. 

Metallica topped a Friday bill featuring Jane's Addiction, Rise Against, Gojira, Killswitch Engage and more, then returned to the site on Sunday to headline a line-up that included Judas Priest, Seether and Breaking Benjamin. The latter had replaced Mudvayne, who pulled out after frontman Chad Gray tested positive for coronavirus

Metallica's two sets couldn't haver been more different: the first stuffed with familiar bangers - but no tracks from the Black Album - the second built around a performance of the Black Album played in its entirety, but in reverse order. So the section kicked off with The Struggle Within - which hadn't been played live for the best part of a decade - and climaxed with the classic Enter Sandman.        

Over the two nights, no songs were repeated. And there's not many bands who can do that and still keep the setlists pumped full of classics. Full details below. 

The bands also contributed two of Friday's songs to the Global Citizen livestream, a worldwide charity event featuring live performances in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai and more. The videos - For Whom The Bell Tolls and No Leaf Clover - are also below.           

Read more about Global Citizen Live

An overhead shot of the Metallica crowd at the Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Exposition Center

The Metallica crowd on Friday at the Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Exposition Center, venue for Louder Than Life (Image credit: Danny Wimmer Presents/Steve Thrasher)

Metallica: Louder Than Life Friday setlist

Whiplash
Ride the Lightning
Harvester of Sorrow
Cyanide
The Memory Remains
One
Now That We're Dead
Moth Into Flame
No Leaf Clover
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Whiskey in the Jar
Fade to Black
Master of Puppets

Encore
Battery
Fuel
Seek & Destroy

Metallica: Louder Than Life Sunday setlist 

Hardwired
The Four Horsemen
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

Black Album played in its entirety 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

Encore
Blackened
Creeping Death

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor of Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 35 years in music industry, online for 22. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović. Likes cats.