[Photo via Twisted Sister]

Have you ever wondered how a band chooses their setlist?

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If you’ve ever been curious why Metallica switches up some songs on their setlist city to city, it might be due to where you live.

According to a report from Quartz, the band checks Spotify data to see what people are listening to the most in that city.

Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, shared the news during a conference call, where he explains that the band see what songs are most popular in the area, and then shapes their setlist around those tracks.

“You have an artist like Metallica, who changes their setlist on a city-by-city basis just by looking at Spotify data to see, which the most popular songs happened to be in that city,” Ek said. “We’ve never before been at a place in time where you could make as many informed decisions and understand your audience as well as we can do now as an artist.”

It was pointed out by Blabbermouth that the band has always been pretty careful about choosing songs for their set.

Back in a 2017 interview with 98 Rock, Lars Ulrich shared that he picks the setlist by looking at years worth of old sets from that city.

I’ll sit and look at last couple times we played [in the area] — whatever city we’re in, I’ll look at the last 10 years worth of shows from that particular city. Obviously, there’s certain songs we ‘have’ to play, but then there’s the deeper cuts — and the deeper cuts I always try to vary. So if we played “Harvester Of Sorrow” the last time, maybe I’ll put “Through The Never” or “Breadfan” or whatever.

I try to vary six or eight of the deeper songs so you give fans a different setlist and a different experience. Since I started doing that, it correlates with when we started taping all our shows and we offer them for sale on something called, mixed by the same team that mixes our albums. Since we started doing that in ’03 or ’04, we haven’t played the same setlist twice.”

If you want to see what the band will be playing in your city, you’re in luck! The band recently announced a massive North American headlining tour set for September.

Check out the dates below!


09/02 – Madison, WI @ Kohl Center
09/04 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
09/06 – Lincoln, NE @ Pinnacle Bank Arena
09/08 – Grand Forks, ND @ Alerus Center
09/11 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Denny Sanford Premier Center
09/13 – Winnipeg, MB @ Bell MTS Place
09/15 – Saskatoon, SK @ SaskTel Centre
10/16 – Milwaukee, WI @ Wisconsin Entertainment and Sport Center
10/18 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
10/20 – State College, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
10/22 – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
10/27 – Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center
10/29 – Albany, NY @ Times Union Center
11/26 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
11/28 – Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena
11/30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
12/02 – Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
12/05 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
12/07 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
12/09 – Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
01/18 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
01/20 – Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena
01/22 – Birmingham, AL @ Legacy Arena at The BJCC
01/24 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
01/28 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
01/30 – Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
02/01 – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
02/28 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center
03/02 – Lubbock, TX @ United Supermarkets Arena
03/04 – Wichita, KS @ Intrust Bank Arena
03/06 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
03/09 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
03/11 – Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
03/13 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena