No one is more eager to get back out on the boards than Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich — but he believes live music won't return until a year from now. While appearing at CNBC’s Evolve Summit, Ulrich said, “What we know now compared to three months ago, six months ago, is that the wait is unfortunately going to continue to be long. I would say third quarter, fall of next year, at the earliest, is what we’re betting on right now.”
He went on to say, “As we unfortunately have to come to grips with, the last thing that will happen are big concerts, y'know 20,000 people in an arena, 50,000 people in a stadium. The good news on the live concert front, when Metallica and other bands like Metallica play big arena or stadium concerts again, then you can pretty much count on the fact that Covid, as we know it now, is over.”
He was asked about repeating last summer's last summer's “Encore Drive-In Nights” event, which featured fans at socially distanced parking lots across the country watching a pre-recorded gig performed in isolation in Sonoma, California: “It was a success, but at the same time, I don’t know what kind of legs that kind of experience will have because I think it’s more of a one-off event. I don’t think it’s something you could do too often. The burnout factor is too big.”
Ulrich can't stress enough how much musicians all over the world are chomping at the bit to perform live again, saying, “Everybody in the community is just beyond ready to get out there — but not at the expense of risking the health and safety of fans and crew members.”
Lars Ulrich told us a while back that Metallica has forever changed the way it tours: “The old days of a year-and-a-half on the road, I mean, that's not going to happen again. If our success has bought us anything, it's the freedom to do these things the way we want to do them, on our own agenda, on our own time frame. We don't really even need to have, like they say in the business, a 'product' out there. We can just sort of go out and tour if we wake up one morning and feel like it.”
Metallica will perform Friday night (November 13th) at the second “Within My Hands Helping Hands Concert and Auction” live on November 14th.
The special acoustic show will stream live from Metallica HQ and will benefit the all Within My Hands foundation.