The Coolest Gig On Earth
With no electrical supply to power amplifiers, strict environmental rules and very few inhabitants, you would be forgiven for thinking a concert on the great icy land of Antarctica was impossible. Until rock legends Metallica proved it wasn’t.
When thinking of Antarctica, some words that probably spring to mind are still, calm, quiet and peaceful. Therefore, it can be hard to imagine the mighty Metallica ever performing there. If you’ve ever been to one of their gigs, you’ll know it’s the type of concert that’s so loud the ground beneath you shakes and you’re left with a ringing in your ears for a good few hours afterwards. However, in 2013, this is exactly what the heavy metal band did. Having played every other continent in the world already that year, the band set its sights on Antarctica and became the first ever performers to play on all seven continents.
On the 8th December, Metallica set a world record when they performed ten of their greatest hits, live, on the icy landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. The set list of ten songs included:
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Sad but True
Master of Puppets
Nothing Else Matters
Seek and Destroy
However given the occasion, we can’t quite believe they didn’t play Trapped Under Ice.
Zero Competition for the World Record
Held as a competition in partnership with Coke Zero and open to Latin and South American countries, the band took as little equipment as possible (to make their journey over the Drake Passage easier) and played to an intimate audience of 120 as the final part of a ten-day cruise that had set off from Ushuaia. The lucky winners, scientists and ship crew were all crammed into a little transparent dome (we’re assuming this was to keep the cold at bay) with the band, for a once-in-a-lifetime performance.
Not only was this Metallica’s most remote gig, it was also their quietest. To avoid causing damage to the fragile land, and in accordance with the guidelines of Antarctic Protocol, amplifiers were enclosed in isolation cabinets and the sound was transmitted to the audience via headphones, similar to that of silent discos that are often found at festivals. We can imagine that would have been a rather surreal yet humorous sight.
Left Out in the Cold
The show, appropriately named ‘Freeze ‘Em All’ was also streamed and later turned into a documentary film for those who weren’t lucky enough to witness the event.
If you would like to tread the same paths as these rock legends, contact us to discover our wide range of Antarctic cruises. Unfortunately, the band is back in the sunny US now, so there won’t be any chance of an impromptu gig.