Metallica’s Concert Director Discusses World-Wired Tour Staging And Effects

Metallica has embarked on their most ambitious tour ever for the current World-Wired World Tour. Their stage and set designer and show director, Dan Braun, gave an interview to OnMilwaukee where he discussed the preparation and planning that goes into such an undertaking. With a stage features an immersive concert experience with a 44′ x 44′ square main-stage equipped with several prop lifts located in the center of the arena, it is the largest the band has ever used in their career. Included is the first ever use of micro-drones (during the song ‘Moth Into Flame’) as a prop in a major touring concert, designed by Braun.

Braun, who has worked with Metallica since 1994, told about his latest creation: “This band hasn’t stopped touring in 30 years, and they sell albums like crazy. When they announced ‘WorldWired’, they wanted to take the live shows to a whole new level. I did some sketches and showed to Lars [Ulrich, drums] and he was very excited. He made me promise not to show them to anybody until he could get the rest of the band to see them. James Hetfield [guitar, vocals] said, ‘Go for it.'”

My path to success has always been teamwork. There is no ‘I’ in this business. There can’t be, because there are multiple disciplines that have to come together to realize the dream. ‘I’ didn’t build anything for Metallica; ‘we’ did. It all starts with the band’s vision. Without their input, you have nothing.”

Hetfield has wanted to use drones in the show for several years, but as Braun pointed out to LiveDesign: “I used to say they weren’t safe, so we sort of got away from the idea, but kept it on the back burner. Then I spoke with Adam Davis at TAIT, and he told us about their relationship with Verity and about the potential possibilities, and that’s how we got into using drones on this tour. As the show’s designer and director, I thought we should put them in ‘Moth Into Flame’, as it’s been a very successful song for the band for a long time. And after the first night of the tour in Copenhagen, James said the drones were great, so we were happy, and we always want to keep the band happy.”

The band recently landed on Pollstar’s Global Concert Pulse chart with concert grosses of more than $2 million per market appearance on Metallica’s last European tour.

Touring in support of its latest album, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”, that arrived in November 2016, Metallica launched the world tour in Latin America a month before the disc’s release. In early 2017, prior to the North American stadium tour, the band made festival appearances and headlined concerts at venues in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

The 2017 dates on the “WorldWired” tour, which included stadium shows across the U.S., grossed $110.3 million in North America and $152.8 million worldwide.

Remaining Metallica World Wired US Tour Dates: 

October 16 – Milwaukee, WI @ Wisconsin Entertainment and Sport Center

October 18 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena

October 20 – State College, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center

October 22 – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center

October 27 – Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center

October 29 – Albany, NY @ Times Union Center

November 26 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena

November 28 – Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena

November 30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena

December 2 – Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena

December 5 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center

December 7 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center

December 9 – Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center

January 18, 2019 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center

January 20, 2019 – Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena

January 22, 2019 – Birmingham, AL @ Legacy Arena at The BJCC

January 24, 2019 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena

January 28, 2019 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena

January 30, 2019 – Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena

February 1, 2019 – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena

February 28, 2019 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center

March 2, 2019 – Lubbock, TX @ United Supermarkets Arena

March 4, 2019 – Wichita, KS @ Intrust Bank Arena

March 6, 2019 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center

March 9, 2019 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center

March 11, 2019 – Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse

March 13, 2019 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena