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In the eye of the hurricane of these revelations would be the U.S. band Metallica with Metallica Merry Xmas For All Christmas Tree Shirt that has starred in two consecutive world tours (one in pavilions and another on even bigger stages, which in Madrid reached 68,000 spectators) and that would be the object of the recordings published by “Billboard”. The intercepted call took place between the president of Live Nation USA, Bob Roux, and a former associate of Metallica Tony DiCioccio, which would also involve an independent promoter, Vaughn Millete. In it, the strategy of how the tickets would be diverted to the channel of resale, where the price is free and fixed by the seller, in the lots that the organizers reserve to fan clubs or sponsors. Most music lovers had already taken this practice for granted, after numerous cases in which, the minute they went on sale, the tickets were sold out and magically appeared at double their price on second-hand portals. However, according to the company assures the magazine to provide its version of the facts, in all cases that have carried out the fraudulent resale, this is the result of the request of the artist, and not of the company. Between 2016 and 2017, according to Live Nation, about a dozen musicians “asked us” to divert the tickets to resellers.
However, both the published recordings and their subsequent comments show a suspicious general discharge of blame. First, it is insisted that resale does not occur without the artist’s initiative. Then Live Nation assumes no responsibility. And second, that it’s not always the musicians themselves who make the decision, but usually it’s their managers or outside consultants who ask to raise the profit margin of a particular concert. The information, which comes from one of these “men of confidence” refers to the Californians Metallica, but does not offer more names of artists nor is it precise if the practice was extended to their European tour. In addition, it exempts James Hetfield and his family, who would never have had direct knowledge of the numbers, from responsibility.
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In this way, according to what has been published, 4,400 tickets per concert were diverted during the 20 of the 2017 North American tour, which, approximately, were distributed in 2,640 “premium” tickets that could get much more value out of the nominal, and another 1,780 “problematic” seats because they are in places of reduced visibility or in the highest rows of the pavilions, which are difficult to sell but from which a greater income than expected can be obtained at the beginning with purchases of unredeemed or last minute fans. The irony of the matter is that, although Metallica’s tour that year was the ninth highest (it had a turnover of $111 million), the executive in charge of placing these tickets in the secondary market reported that, for the overall amount of those diverted tickets, the result was that they lost money. Even Millete, who was in charge of putting the passes on sale, kept part of the income as his commission, so the band didn’t even make a profit. That, in any case, that experience did not deter them from putting tickets back on the secondary market in 2018, in collaboration with Live Nation, albeit with a different intermediary.
An interesting angle of the story is that, according to “Billboard,” Live Nation won the auction for adding the group to its roster of artists by offering the band 95 percent of the revenue. Until then, the group had tried to work with independent companies and had a bid from another industry giant, AEG. In addition, Live Nation owns the world’s leading ticketing platform, Ticketmaster, a company that in the face of controversy and suspicions generated in recent years closed its Get Me In! and Seatwave websites dedicated to resale, but, for Metallica’s particular case, the resale ticketing operation would have been operated through Stub Hub, owned by eBay.
Thousands of Puerto Ricans dawned deafer today after being exposed to the thunderous sound of Metallica, the legendary heavy metal group that started its Hardwired tour last night at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, shaking in unison the eardrums of its fans and the foundations of the San Juan structure for just over two hours. The event began to the rhythm of Zafakón, a Puerto Rican band that was chosen among four other groups as the opening act through a vote at Metallica’s official website. Marcus Veit (singer, rhythm guitar), Weslie Negrón (bass), Yhann Ortiz (guitar) and Nicko Burgos (drums) came on stage at 7:30 p.m. and played for about half an hour several songs from their albums War as a Drug and Release, leaving a great impression on the public – and also on this server – with an act worthy of serving as a prelude to one of the biggest bands of the genre.
“I know it’s going to sound cliché, but ‘dreams do come true,'” said Veit, still incredulous about the sublime of the evening. At around 9:20 at night, the Choliseo lights went out and the screams became deafening. Amidst the darkness, the first chords of The Ecstasy of Gold, the immortal song composed by maestro Ennio Morricone with which Metallica has initiated most of its concerts since 1991, began to be heard. The music was accompanied by scenes from the classic western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in which one of the characters runs through a cemetery, splendidly projected on the three screens located on the stage: a huge one in the center and two smaller ones on the sides.
After the tribute to director Sergio Leone, James Hetfield (singer, rhythm guitar), Lars Ulrich (drums) Kirk Hammett (guitar) and Robert Trujillo (bass) appeared on stage wrapped up in the euphoria of thousands of fans who welcomed the concert with two of their greatest classics from the album Ride the Lightning: Creeping Death and For Whom the Bell Tolls. In the first, the high-definition screens were bathed in blood in clear reference to the lyrics of the song, while in the second a gigantic bell seemed to hang over the four artists.
“Metallica está en ti San Juan”, were the first words that Hetfield expressed before a practically full Choliseo. “It’s so good to see you. It’s been a long time. A long time. So tonight, we’ll play for a long time,” he continued, who has been the band’s vocalist since its founding in 1981.
Metallica then delighted those present with an interpretation of Whenever I May Roam, one of the hits of the Black Album; Harvester of Sorrow, from the album …And Justice for All; Reload’s The Memory Remains; and Unforgiven, also from the Black Album, four tracks that did not play the last time they were presented on the Island in March 2010 during the Death Magnetic Tour.
“Do you want to hear something new? We have something new coming out soon. This is one of them,” Hetfield announced before playing Moth Into Flame, one of two singles from the album Hardwired… to Self Destruct which will go on sale on November 18. Behind the live release came two of the group’s fan favorites: Ride the Lightning and Sad But True.
If the concert had a climax, it came with the interpretation of three indisputable heavy metal classics. The Choliseo was once again in the dark just before you began to hear shots, explosions, helicopters, sounds that every Metallica fan immediately recognizes as the beginning of One. Warlike images appeared on the screens as the chords of Hetfield and Hammett’s guitars raised the skin of the thousands of spectators.
After one of the heaviest songs of the night, Metallica didn’t lose momentum and continued with the double hit of Master of Puppets and Battery, songs that considerably magnified the “mosh pit” that had already formed in the sand area during One and inside which dozens of people were hitting and pushing each other on a floor bathed in beer.
“How does it feel to be alive,” Hetfield shouted before calming the mood a little with Fade to Black, but the relative tranquility didn’t last long, as the metal ballad was followed by one of Metallica’s first hits: Seek and Destroy, from their debut album Kill ‘Em All . The group said goodbye, as all the artists usually do before returning for the “encore”, which started with Hardwired, let’s buy Metallica Merry Xmas For All Christmas Tree Shirt if you love this rock band, the homonym of the new album, followed by a cover of “Whiskey in the Jar” and the ballad Nothing Else Matters.