Two weeks ago, I read on the internet that one of my favourite bands of all time, Metallica, would be touring the UK this October. I was interested in attending, as I haven’t seen the group perform for over five years and I thought their latest studio album; 2016’s, “Hardwired to Self Destruct” was excellent. After listening to a weekly internet podcast titled “That’s Not Metal”, I learnt that the band is charging fans £96.25 for a standing ticket. A student like me has no chance of affording that during semester time. When did Metallica become a band for rich people like the Rolling Stones?
Metallica are an enormous band in the history of popular music. For that reason alone, it doesn’t surprise you how expensive the tour ticket is, because the venue is going to sell out anyway. Metallica’s credibility has gone down in my books since I heard about this, because it further distances themselves from die hand fans that are unable to afford to go. £96.25 is an extortionate amount of money for any gig, whether it is Madonna, U2, Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen. Even if I could afford to go, I wouldn’t out of principle, because a band I love is ripping me off. Another important thing to remember is that Metallica are a heavy metal band. Although the biggest band in the genre, they still play thrash metal music and have done for 35 years. They have created songs that appeal to the working class, head bangers and angst ridden teenagers. Would you really expect an artist whose debut album is titled, Kill Em’ All, to be charging people that much to see them perform?
Metallica’s last UK tour was on the Death Magnetic album cycle of 2008/2009. Ticket prices were around £45 for a night at the O2 Arena in London. That may have been 8 years ago, inflation takes its toll over the years, but tickets are now over double the price of the last tour. The group have not grown in popularity since then and they have not improved as a live band. The members of Metallica are in their mid-fifties; they have an established catalogue of songs and have already played their career defining shows. The only thing the band can now do is to keep the momentum and level of popularity going which they have proudly held since they released The Black Album in 1991.
Hard rock and heavy metal music has been in the decline from the mainstream for a good decade now. This is a concern when it comes to finding where the next generation of fans will come from. At this rate, the numbers will continue to get smaller as young people don’t have rock music blaring into their ears from popular radio stations or music channels. When I was a kid I got into the pop-punk artists Sum 41 and Good Charlotte, two mainstream rock bands who opened the door into the world of rock that I was able to cherish for the next 16 years. Kids today don’t have that exposure when it comes to rock in the mainstream world, but they do have the internet and websites like YouTube that can introduce them to new music and even legends such as Metallica. However, when it comes to the live setting, it’s a different story. How can the younger generation get into an older band like Metallica if their parents can’t afford to take them to a show? You could spend less money on a day ticket at a music festival. Meaning eight more bands to watch and better value for money. Think of your fans Metallica, and please lower your ticket prices by around £30? Then I would be interested in attending.