The wait may be over. It looks like The Big Four US tour announcement is imminent. An image posted on the Metallica website of a guitar pick reads The Big 4 with an American flag behind it. The thrash tour will feature heavy metal legends Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax.
The four pioneers of thrash metal music united for one of the biggest tours of all time in 2010 across Europe. The closest America got to the tour was a delayed simulcast of the Sonishphere concert featuring edited performances of all four bands. Performances from The Big Four movie were later released in full on a Big Four DVD set last October. The Big Four DVD went double platinum selling in excess of 200,000 copies. Now America will have their chance to experience this metal magic live in their country.
[adinserter block=”2″]Dates have not been announced for the tour as of this writing. I would imagine that a tour of this magnitude would take place in the summer to take advantage of stadiums and outdoor venues. I took a quick look at Slayer and Megadeth’s 2011 tour schedule. Slayer will hit the road at the end of February in Australia. Megadeth and Slayer will reunite in March and tour through Europe until early April. The bands are then scheduled to hit some festivals in Europe in July including a return to Sonisphere. Both bands appear open from mid-April-July 06 which is plenty of time for a 20-30 major city tour.
My guess is that if The Big Four US tour does take place in 2011 it will begin somewhere around the end of April and go through the end of June. Those would give the bands ideal weather for outdoor touring and plenty of opportunity to hit a variety of cities before the bands head back to Europe with some going their separate ways.
The buzz for this tour is unbelievable and has not stopped since the union was first announced for last year. Between silly band wars and bad timing, the four had never toured together and 2010 was the first time many of these pioneers shared the stage for the first time in decades. It is ironic as to how much Megadeth and Slayer have toured together going back to last year considering the public verbal spats the bands have had with one another for years. All seems forgiven considering Kerry King took the stage with Megadeth in California reuniting with Dave Mustaine for the first time since the 80s playing classic Megadeth.
[adinserter block=”1″]I saw The Big Four movie and caught The American Carnage tour live in New Jersey last year. Most of these guys are probably in or near 50 but believe it or not, they still have it. Megadeth blew me away live in New Jersey and Slayer haven’t slowed down a bit. I was pleasantly surprised as to how great Joey Belladonna still sounds and the high notes he can still hit years later. Metallica are Metallica and while they aren’t my cup of tea these days, they still put on a hell of a show at last year’s The Big Four. If you have any hesitations about seeing your Metal Gods in their 50s fearing seeing them past their prime, have no fear because these guys all can still shred better than best of them.
I am real curious to see how this thrash metal bill does with American audiences. Unfortunately these types of tours are always big business in Europe yet it has been years since the U.S. got a bill this good. Sure there have been some good Ozzfest lineups but nothing remotely close to The Big Four. The DVD sales show an obvious interest and resurgence in heavy metal and rightfully so considering most of the garbage on radio these days. An event like this on American soil could be enough to not only bring back some old metal heads but revitalize the genre and integrate it back into teenage and American pop culture.
I certainly hope so.
Updated – The first Big Four America tour date has been announced. Big Four tickets for April 23 in Indio, California go on sale Friday January 28. For more information check out the Big Four website. The press release reads as if this will be the only show in the U.S. which contradicts a ton of earlier reports.
Visit the Slayer Music Store on Amazon.com.
Check out downloads at the Megadeth Download Store on Amazon.com.
Check out the iTunes Store Music for all of these and other great metal tunes.