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METALLICA Got The Idea For Their "Snake Pit" From Restaurants

Thanks to one manager.

Lars Restaurant
Restaurant photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

For the last three decades, Metallica has included a "snake pit" section at every show they play. The snake pit in a standing-room only section literally in the middle of the stage, giving fans a 360-degree view of the band as they play. But why the hell does the snake pit exist, anyway? Whose idea was that?

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According to drummer Lars Ulrich in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, it all started when one Metallica's managers pointed out that the best seat in any restaurant waas actually the table in the kitchen.

"I mean, the snake pit has been part of what we've been doing for basically 30 years going back to the Black Album days and… So the Snake Pit started off, one of our managers back in New York in the late 80s, early 90s, the idea that when you would go to a restaurant, that the best seat in the restaurant was actually not in the house, but the best seat was in the kitchen. So in crazy, cool restaurants, if you could somehow get into the kitchen and eat in the kitchen, you were in there where all the action was.

"So the idea that came out of that for that snake pit on the Black Album tour was basically to be in the middle of the stage. So we had a stage that was shaped like a diamond, Kirk was referring to it earlier. And there was 30, 40 spots in the middle of that stage. Radio contest winners. Friends, family, a few crazy metalheads from around the audience would end up in that snake pit and they would be on stage with us. And then it morphed and basically for I guess 30 years now, the snake pit has been an integral part of at least a Metallica indoor show.

"And then in the stadiums when we've been playing outside, it's been sort of this extension of the stage. You've seen it but they've never been like crazy big. There's been room for a couple of hundred here, a couple hundred there, whatever. We were told between 900 to 1200, depending on the density, obviously. And as you know, when you get into these things in different countries, the fire marshal has different and all this.

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"But I mean, it's going to be incredible. We've been in here for a week now, and we've been playing to the silence that you pointed out. And this is a big place and it's a European football stadium, obviously it's further to the sides. But when this is populated, not just with all these beautiful souls here on all the sides and on the floor…"

Catch Metallica at one of their seemingly infinite tour dates below. Get tickets here.

Show No. 1 opened each night by Architects & Mammoth WVH, Show No. 2 by Five Finger Death Punch & Ice Nine Kills

5/17/23 Paris FR Stade de France (w/ Five Finger Death Punch & Ice Nine Kills)
5/19/23 Paris FR Stade de France (w/ Architects & Mammoth WVH)
5/26/23 Hamburg DE Volksparkstadion
5/28/23 Hamburg DE Volksparkstadion
6/16/23 Gothenburg SE Ullevi Stadium (w/ Volbeat in place of Architects)
6/18/23 Gothenburg SE Ullevi Stadium

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Show No. 1 opened each night by Pantera & Mammoth WVH, Show No. 2 by Five Finger Death Punch & Ice Nine Kills

8/4/23 East Rutherford NJ MetLife Stadium
8/6/23 East Rutherford NJ MetLife Stadium
8/11/23 Montreal QC Stade Olympique
8/13/23 Montreal QC Stade Olympique
8/18/23 Arlington TX AT&T Stadium
8/20/23 Arlington TX AT&T Stadium
8/25/23 Inglewood CA SoFi Stadium
8/27/23 Inglewood CA SoFi Stadium
9/1/23 Glendale AZ State Farm Stadium
9/3/23 Glendale AZ State Farm Stadium
10/3/23 St. Louis MO The Dome at America’s Center
10/5/23 St. Louis MO The Dome at America’s Center
10/10/23 Detroit MI Ford Field
10/12/23 Detroit MI Ford Field
5/24/24 Munich DE Olympiastadion
5/26/24 Munich DE Olympiastadion
6/7/24 Helsinki FI Olympic Stadium
6/9/24 Helsinki FI Olympic Stadium
6/14/24 Copenhagen DK Parken Stadium
6/16/24 Copenhagen DK Parken Stadium
7/5/24 Warsaw PL PGE Narodowy
7/7/24 Warsaw PL PGE Narodowy
7/12/24 Madrid ES Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano
7/14/24 Madrid ES Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano
8/2/24 Foxborough MA Gillette Stadium
8/4/24 Foxborough MA Gillette Stadium
8/9/24 Chicago IL Soldier Field
8/11/24 Chicago IL Soldier Field
8/16/24 Minneapolis MN US Bank Stadium
8/18/24 Minneapolis MN US Bank Stadium
8/23/24 Edmonton AB Commonwealth Stadium
8/25/24 Edmonton AB Commonwealth Stadium
8/30/24 Seattle WA Lumen Field
9/1/24 Seattle WA Lumen Field
9/20/24 Mexico City MX Foro Sol (w/ Greta Van Fleet no Pantera)
9/22/24 Mexico City MX Foro Sol
9/27/24 Mexico City MX Foro Sol (w/ Greta Van Fleet no Pantera)
9/29/24 Mexico City MX Foro Sol

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