Metallica Plays Antarctica, Setting a World Record as the First Band to Play All 7 Continents: Watch the Full Concert Online

Unless they’ve got fans among pen­guins, there’s no prac­ti­cal rea­son for a band to make the jour­ney to Antarc­ti­ca to play. So why did Metal­li­ca do exact­ly that in 2013? Because they could, and because it made them the first musi­cal act to play all sev­en con­ti­nents — a Guin­ness World Record — doing it all in the same cal­en­dar year, no less. They’re also the only rock band to trav­el to Antarc­ti­ca. (With the excep­tion of Nunatak, an indie rock band made up of British cli­mate sci­en­tists, who played a “sold-out” show to 17 peo­ple at the Rothera Research Sta­tion where they worked in 2007.)

If those aren’t rea­sons enough, the con­cert was a dream real­ized for the 120 fans in atten­dance, includ­ing research sta­tion sci­en­tists and Coca Cola con­test win­ners from all over Latin Amer­i­ca who were able to see Metal­li­ca in a trans­par­ent dome near the heli­port of Argentina’s Car­li­ni Base after a week-long cruise. “Due to the continent’s frag­ile envi­ron­ment,” notes Guin­ness, the band’s amps were placed in “iso­la­tion cab­i­nets” and the audi­ence heard every­thing through head­phones, sort of like a silent rave. Called “Freeze ‘Em All,” the show was live-streamed and is now ful­ly avail­able online (see it above).

“The ener­gy in the lit­tle dome was amaz­ing!” the band writes on their Face­book page. “Words can not describe how hap­py every­one was.” But how cold were they? More spon­sor­ship, in the form of out­er­wear from snow­board and ski giant Bur­ton, kept the band bun­dled up through­out. Metal­li­ca has uploaded the audio of “Freeze ‘Em All” in MP3 and var­i­ous high-end loss­less for­mats at It’s a very cool idea, but is the con­cert video an hour-long Coke Zero ad? I don’t know.… I am a lit­tle curi­ous about what might have hap­pened if their amps had been at full blast in the Antarc­tic wild….

Here’s the full setlist, with time­stamps, of the record-set­ting gig:

Creep­ing Death (1:25​)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (7:47​)
Sad But True (12:28​)
Wel­come Home (San­i­tar­i­um) (18:58​)
Mas­ter of Pup­pets (25:58​)
One (34:12​)
Black­ened (41:58​)
Noth­ing Else Mat­ters (50:01​)
Enter Sand­man (55:06​)
Seek & Destroy (1:02:20​)

You too, like many a com­ment­ing fan, may feel betrayed by the lack of “Trapped Under Ice” in the setlist. Maybe too on-the-nose, they thought, too cute. But sure­ly a missed oppor­tu­ni­ty that won’t come again. Fill in the gap your­self with the live take below.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Metal­li­ca Is Putting Free Con­certs Online: 6 Now Stream­ing, with More to Come

Metallica’s Bassist Robert Tru­jil­lo Plays Metal­li­ca Songs Fla­men­co-Style, Joined by Rodri­go y Gabriela

Bud­dhist Monk Cov­ers Metallica’s ”Enter Sand­man,” Then Med­i­tates

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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