After thousands of shows, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has a pretty good idea of what his favorite songs are to play live.
In a segment on SiriusXM’s Mandatory Metallica, Ulrich names "Sad But True" from the Black Album and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" from Master Of Puppets as his two favorite Metallica songs to jam live. Ulrich said he likes the more freeform nature of the drums on both tracks, saying that he's not sure he's ever played either the same twice.
"I have a few favorites from where I'm sitting. 'Sad But True' is a particular favorite of mine. I love the feel of that song and the kind of the stomp and the size of it. You know, it's a song for me that I play pretty much different every [time]. There's some of the songs that are really rigid and some of the other songs that are a little more freeform.
"'Sad But True' falls kind of on the far end of the freeform scale; every night [I] play sort of different drum fills and push, pull, all that stuff. So that one I love playing. I love playing 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)', which also subscribes a little bit to the same kind of [approach]; I don't think I ever play it the same way twice. So those are fun. Those are the first two that come to mind."
A quick glance at Setlist.fm shows that both "Sad But True" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" are in Metallica's top 10 most played songs ever live. "Sad But True" was also a single in 1993 and went on to sell a million copies alone. "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" wasn't a single, it's just a good song.
Oh and if you're curious, St. Anger has the least played songs of any Metallica album live. Load, Reload, and Death Magnetic aren't doing so hot either.