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Metallica Makes History on Record-Breaking M72 World Tour

ROE Visual Carbon LED Technology Shines in Stage Design

Metal heads around the world are rejoicing as the legendary band, Metallica is on the road again amidst another record-setting tour. The heavy metal band is currently making history on its M72 World Tour, selling out stadiums and recently setting a new attendance record at SoFi Stadium. The tour boasts an impressive stage design, supported by ROE Visual technology.

The M72 World Tour kicked off on April 27, 2023, in Amsterdam and is currently scheduled to close on September 29, 2024, in Mexico City. The epic 46-show tour visits 22 cities internationally with just two shows per location. Each night comes with a new opening act and setlist, featuring the band’s latest record 72 Seasons. The ‘no repeat weekend’ mantra of the tour has kept concert-goers on their toes with new music and fresh musical guests.

Photo courtesy of Ralph Larmann
Maximizing fan engagement, the stage design for M72 is in the round, including an “O” shaped stage with multiple elevation changes for the band. The “Snake Pit” was brought back in the M72 tour’s stage design, allowing roughly 1,000 Metallica fans to get up close and personal with the performers in the center of the stage. The Snake Pit has been a fan favorite feature of many Metallica tours dating back to the 1980-90s.

Eight ground-supported towers encircle the stage, soaring at 100 ft in the air and provide video, lighting, and audio. Each tower features three video walls, which form a curved, cylindrical design. In total, over 1,600 ROE Visual Carbon 5 MKII (CB5 MKII) panels were utilized to bring the stage design to realization. While the video panels used for the tour are owned by the band, 4Wall Entertainment was enlisted for all of the video.

Photo courtesy of Ralph Larmann
Despite being highly engaging, the graphics displayed on the towers were purposely not overpowering, as to create a general aesthetic for the concert with gradual nods to music videos and band references without detracting from the performance. The Carbon panels performed brilliantly, with vibrant color representation and brightness.

The video content was supported by 16 Brompton SX40 LED processors and 11 disguise GX2C media servers. To complement the graphics on the LED walls, over 650 lights were incorporated into the show—a specific need for the stage design being in the round.

“It was a unique opportunity to see multiple variations of the initial stage design, and to be a part of the team seeing it through, from the different phases of technical drawings, system design, all the way through to the tour hitting the road,” explains ROE Visual Technical Director, Mike Smith. “The combination of a brand new product and custom manufactured rigging hardware presented a great opportunity for the technical team at ROE to provide high-level support for a tour of this magnitude.”

The band continues to set records on the M72 tour, with fans showing up for the legacy group in droves. On August 25th, the band made history by filling up SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA with nearly 80,000 attendees, a first since the stadium’s opening in 2020.

Photo courtesy of Ralph Larmann
Creative Director & Production Designer, Dan Braun is responsible for supplying the fan-first feel to M72. His longstanding relationship with the band over the years has amounted to a dialed-in understanding of the creative needs each tour, with M72 as no exception.

“Working with Dan and his team on the design of M72 is a career high and a credit to ROE’s position in the live events space. Dan’s history with the band and overall dedication to perfection meant the Carbon panels were pushed to their peak performance capabilities” reflects Nick Jevons, VP of Business Development at ROE Visual. “This drive is palpable the moment fans walk into the tour venue and are immersed in the Metallica experience. Our team is thrilled to have contributed to what has become a sensational, history-making event.”

Photo courtesy of Ralph Larmann

The last time the band released a new record was in 2016 with Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. Metallica’s latest album, 72 Seasons references the number of seasons an individual experiences in 18 years of life. This methodical detail, along with fresh setlists and musical guests, has translated into a theatrical feel, with many of the traditional touring components (visible cabling, flight cases, etc.) out of the audience’s sight. And because the stage is in the round, it was crucial for fans to feel a certain proximity to the stage and naturally, the band. An attention to detail that keeps their devoted metal heads coming back each tour.

Learn more about Carbon 5 MKII here.

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