Metallica Postpones Arizona Concert After James Hetfield Tests Positive for COVID

"Unfortunately, COVID has caught up with James," the metal band shared on social media on Saturday

<p>Monica Schipper/Getty</p> James Hetfield of Metallica on Aug. 25, 2023

Monica Schipper/Getty

James Hetfield of Metallica on Aug. 25, 2023

Metallica was unable to take the stage in Arizona on Sunday.

The metal band shared on social media on Saturday that their lead vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield tested positive for COVID-19, forcing them to reschedule the second of two concerts at Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium.

After their Friday night performance, the band featuring Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich shared the 60-year-old musician’s diagnosis on Instagram with a photo of his positive COVID test. “Unfortunately, COVID has caught up with James,” the group captioned the post. “We’re extremely disappointed and regret any inconvenience this has caused you.”

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According to The Arizona Republic, several songs including their hit “Master of Puppets” were noticeably cut from their setlist during the Friday night show. They also reported that Hetfield seemed to struggle with his vocals, opting for more audience participation, as the performance went on.

The rock legends were able to reschedule their second Arizona tour date, which is a part of their M72 World Tour, to Saturday, Sept. 9.

“We look forward to returning to complete the M72 No Repeat Weekend in Glendale next Saturday,” the Grammy winners continued. “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 Keep your eyes on and our socials for additional details and updates.”

Several artists commented on the "Nothing Else Matters" band's post, wishing Hetfield well. The M72 World Tour special guests Pantera commented, "Hope you are feeling better soon, James 🙌," and country singer Jason Isbell replied, "Respect to y'all for telling the truth."

<p>Monica Schipper/Getty</p> Metallica

Monica Schipper/Getty


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The EG.5 variant, also known as “Eris,” is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The variant is said to be related to the XBB variant, which has been circulating for the past six months, and has a certain mutation that’s able to evade forms of immunity.

Earlier this year, Bruce Springsteen also had to cancel an appearance due to COVID-19. The rocker, 73, tested positive in April shortly after playing his first concert in seven years in his native New Jersey, making him unable to attend an award ceremony.

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Metallica is currently on the road to support the release of their 11th studio album, 72 Seasons.

A handful of famous guests have been seen rocking out at the thrash metal icons’ show.

Actor Joe Manganiello attended one of the band’s Los Angeles tour stops at SoFi Stadium in August, enjoying their set from the VIP section and while wearing their own merchandise.

At another SoFi Stadium show, several celebrities hung out backstage with the band and openers Pantera, including John Travolta, Jason Momoa, Tommy Lee and John 5 of Mötley Crüe, actress Adria Arjona, and Vanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval.

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