Setlist History: Metallica's Live Debut of "Enter Sandman"

31 years ago today, (August 1, 1991) Metallica live debuted their signature song "Enter Sandman" in Petaluma, California. "Enter Sandman" has become one of the greatest songs, not only of heavy metal, but of all time. It was the lead single from Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album and has since been certified platinum, having sold over 1 million copies. The song was Metallica’s biggest radio hit and has been performed by the band over 1,2000 times.

This live debut was also a part of the kick-off performance of the band's Wherever We May Roam world tour. They traveled an extensive 198 dates until wrapping their tour on December 18, 1992, in Stockholm, Sweden. For their kick-off show they additionally live debuted "Sad but True" and performed covers of the Misfit's "Last Caress" and Diamond Head's "Am I Evil." Check out their full setlist from the night that gives me another reason to wish I was born in the 80's:

Metallica Setlist

"Enter Sandman" evolved from a two bar guitar riff written by their lead guitarist, Kirk Hammett. The song relates to the childhood theme of a nightmare involving the European folklore the Sandman and dreading sleep. James Hetfield described the song in 2007:

"I wanted more of the mental thing where this kid gets manipulated by what adults say. You know when you wake up with that shit in your eye? That’s supposedly been put in there by the sandman to make you dream. So the guy in the song tells this little kid that and he kinda freaks. He can’t sleep after that and it works the opposite way. Instead of a soothing thing, the table’s turned."

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Last updated: 9 Aug 2022, 04:55 Etc/UTC