Metallica Reschedule Concert After James Hetfield Tests Positive For COVID
Following a shorter-than-normal set in Glendale, Ariz., on Friday night (Sept. 1), Metallica have announced that James Hetfield has tested positive for COVID-19. Because of this, they have rescheduled Sunday night's concert—what would have been the second show in their M72 No Repeat Weekend in Glendale—to Saturday, Sept. 9.
"We're very sorry to report that tomorrow's scheduled M72 date at State Farm Stadium has been postponed," the band announced on social media Saturday evening. "We're extremely disappointed and regret any inconvenience this has caused you; we look forward to returning to complete the M72 No Repeat Weekend in Glendale next Saturday."
You can read the full announcement and see a photo of Papa Het's unmistakable and iconic right hand next to a positive COVID test in the Instagram post below:
As noted in the announcement, all weekend events associated with the M72 tour that are taking place on Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3—like concerts, Blackened American Whiskey tasting events and the traveling Metallica pop-up shop—remain scheduled as normal.
While this is disappointing for the tens of thousands of fans who were planning on seeing Metallica on Sunday, it doesn't come as a huge surprise following their Friday night set. The setlist that Metallica shared on social media clearly showed they were only planning on performing 14 songs—two less than normal due to the removal of "The Day That Never Comes" and "Master of Puppets."
As Setlist.fm and many fans on social media assessed, the shorter set was due to vocal issues Hetfield was facing, no doubt an early predictor of the positive COVID test.
"James' voice seemed to be giving out halfway through the show and he stopped singing a lot during 'Fuel,'" Nick Weber commented on the setlist photo on Instagram. Johannes Rauh added, "They ended it earlier so James [could] get some rest...he was [a] little sick."
Check out the setlist and other comments below:
Once they play the rescheduled show at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Metallica have three remaining cities left on their 2023 itinerary: Indio, Calif., where they'll close out the final night of the Power Trip festival and St. Louis and Detroit, where they'll play two nights each as part of the M72 tour.
You can see their full schedule for 2023 and 2024 here.
If you were planning on attending Sunday night's concert, as Metallica explained, "All tickets for September 3 will be honored at the September 9 show. For more information, including refund details if you cannot join next weekend, please visit SeatGeek.com. Keep your eyes on Metallica.com and our socials for additional details and updates."
The entire Loudwire team wishes Hetfield a speedy recovery.