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Metallica’s Robert Trujillo reveals why they tweaked ‘M72’ tour setlist

Metallica’s Rob Trujillo has revealed why the band tweaked their setlist for the ‘M72’ world tour in a new interview. 

Trujillo spoke with Classic Rock as part of the magazine’s year-end review about their ‘M72’ world tour, which saw the band perform two dates with completely different setlists in almost every city. He admitted that several dates into the tour, the metal giants realised that their concerts were not opening impactfully enough, and had to make adjustments to their setlist.

“Initially, we thought it would be really clever and exciting to open the show with an instrumental, like ‘The Call Of Ktulu’ or ‘Orion’,” Trujillo said. “We found that an instrumental is very powerful for the set but it sits much better in the middle of a set, it’s a chance for the fan to absorb and embrace the song. Rather than just coming out throwing a curveball at them, we would rather come out with a ‘Whiplash’ or a ‘Creeping Death’, something that kind of smacks you in the face.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the bassist also discussed his favourite songs to play on tour, highlighting tracks off their 2023 full-length, ‘72 Seasons’: “‘You Must Burn!’ is always nice, because it’s a power groove and we get to team up on some vocals there, same thing with ‘Shadows Follow’. Those two off the new record are fun to play.”

He then brought up the instrumental tracks he mentioned earlier, highlighting that they offered opportunities for the band to “[share] the spotlight together”. “‘The Call Of Ktulu’ is fun for any bass player, there’s a lot of melodic statements within that composition that I like,” he continued. “It keeps you on your toes and it’s nice, because usually we always come together and meet on stage at a certain point and celebrate the outro riff, a song like ‘Orion’, we really enjoy coming together. What happens is you just instinctually find your place during certain songs where you come together, and you’re just having that moment where you’re headbanging together, sharing the spotlight together. That’s always nice.”

Trujillo’s Classic Rock interview is Metallica’s latest, following Kirk Hammett’s interview with Total Guitar, in which he admitted to being influenced by the theme for the 1960s Batman television show on ‘72 Seasons’ track ‘Shadows Follow’. “That’s really funny, because we called that riff ‘The Batman Riff’, and I know exactly what you are talking about,” said Hammett.

The band released ‘72 Seasons’ in April, which earned a glowing four-star review from NME, with Kevin EG Perry highlighting the band’s relentless musicianship and energy. “The whole album roars past in an unremitting and intense 77 minutes, pausing only for a few moments of in-studio banter recorded for posterity. There are no ballads here, just speed demon anthems purpose-built for mosh pits, bedrooms, car journeys and anywhere else you choose to head-bang.”

NME was also present at the opening date of the ‘M72’ world tour in Amsterdam. “Tonight’s surprising, ambitious and giddy gig matches that energy at every turn,” wrote Ali Shuttler, reflecting on the show. “Their closing crossover track ‘Master Of Puppets’ naturally goes off, but then so do all of the songs on the setlist.”

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