Metallica’s online contest for local openers puts New England bands at a disadvantage



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Not too long after Bon Jovi hosted an online contest to search for a local opener on select tour dates, Metallica is following suit.

The legendary metal band, which plays Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on May 19, has announced its “Hit The Stage” contest, where one band will open up the Massachusetts show as well as dates in St. Louis, San Antonio, Dallas, and Chicago.

But there is a catch — well, besides playing a stadium at dinnertime as people hang out in the parking lot.

First, here’s official word: “This summer Metallica’s WorldWired tour hits stadiums across North America. The band has invited along special guests Avenged Sevenfold and openers Volbeat or Gojira to join them through out the summer. However, as some fans have noticed, there are a handful of cities (five to be exact!) where only one band from the bill is able to join. Since Metallica have had so much fun checking out local bands that fans voted for to open the shows in other parts of the world, it only seems natural to invite fans to once again voice their opinion and help choose a band. This time around, the group receiving the most fan votes will hit the stage first on their own five-city tour!”

Ok, cool. Sounds great! But now here’s where it gets tricky. The voting process begins through online contests hosted by radio stations in every host city except Boston.


There will be individual contests held by KEGL in Dallas, WLUP in Chicago, KISS in San Antonio, and KPNT in St. Louis.

“All the votes will be tabulated by the stations and two finalists from each contest will go head to head for votes in phase two on Metallica.com starting next week on April 14,” states the press release. “Ten days later the band with the most votes will be announced and can start packing their bags to head to their first gig in Foxborough at Gillette Stadium courtesy of Metallica!”

We’ve reached out to Metallica’s people for clarification on this, but it seems — to us, at least — that a New England-area band will have to impress some out-of-market fans for a chance to move on to the next round. Clearly, a band from St. Louis or Chicago will have some “home field” advantage in compiling votes within their market.

This is kind of like the Bruins going to Ottawa to start the NHL Playoffs — a tougher task than playing at home, but certainly not impossible to win. We’ve also asked Metallica’s people why there’s no New England radio station involved (though we guess the answer is obvious), which would clearly help a local band’s chances here, and we’ll report back if we get a response.

In the meantime, good luck. Below are the dates Metallica are offering up, and click here for the official rules and details on the “Hit The Stage” contest.

Metallica “Hit The Stage” contest:
May 19 – Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium (also with Volbeat)
June 4 – St. Louis, MO – Busch Stadium (also with Volbeat)
June 14 – San Antonio, TX – Alamodome (also with Avenged Sevenfold)
June 16 – Dallas, TX – AT&T Stadium (also with Avenged Sevenfold)
June 18 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field (also with Avenged Sevenfold)