Metallica’s James Hetfield Tests Positive for COVID-19, Fortcoming Show Postponed

Metallica was forced to postpone the second night of their M72 World Tour show in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday (September 3) after frontman James Hetfield tested positive for COVID-19. The band played their first night at State Farm Stadium on Friday (September 1), and have rescheduled the second night for Saturday (September 9).

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“We’re very sorry to report that tomorrow’s scheduled M72 date at State Farm Stadium has been postponed to Saturday, September 9, 2023, as, unfortunately, COVID has caught up with James,” wrote the band on their social media pages, alongside a photo of singer’s positive COVID test.

“We’re extremely disappointed and regret any inconvenience this has caused you,” they added. “We look forward to returning to complete the M72 No Repeat Weekend in Glendale next Saturday.”

Tickets for the September 3 show will be honored on September 9, and can also be refunded for those who cannot make the rescheduled date. Additional events for fans, originally linked to the two shows, including a pop-up shop, whiskey tasting, tribute show, and more, still went forward over the weekend as originally scheduled.

Though the band made it through their first night in Arizona — dubbed the Weekend Takeover, the tour makes two stops in each city — Hetfield was reportedly struggling with his vocal during the show, and resulted in Metallica cutting their set short by two songs, “The Day That Never Comes” and “Master of Puppets.”

The M72 World Tour supports Metallica’s 11th album, 72 Seasons, released in April 2023. Following Metallica’s September 9 show, the band will headline the Power Trip fest on October 8 in Indio, California, along with Tool, before continuing on the next leg of their M72 Weekend Takeover at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri on November 3 and 5.

[RELATED: The1984 Metallica Song That Metallica Doesn’t Like to Play]

The tour wraps up in Detroit, Michigan on November 10 and 12 and starts up again in May 2024 with additional dates in Europe, North America, and South America, before wrapping up on September 29 after four shows in Mexico City, Mexico.

Drummer Lars Ulrich recently wrote the foreword for a new edition of Hunter S. Thompson’s 1991 book of short stories, Screwjack. In June 2023, Metallica also released the live EP, The Amsterdam Sessions, which features four tracks recorded at Ready Set Studios in Amsterdam, including 72 Seasons cuts “If Darkness Had A Son” and “Lux Æterna,” along with the band’s classics “Nothing Else Matters” and “Master Of Puppets.”

Unleash your inner metal warrior with Metallica tour 2023 tickets.

Photo: Tim Saccenti / Nasty Little Man

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