Clash of the Titans (tour)

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Clash of the Titans
Tour by Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, Alice in Chains
A promotional poster for a European show
Associated albumRust in Peace
Seasons in the Abyss
Souls of Black
Persistence of Time
Start dateSeptember 22, 1990
End dateJuly 14, 1991
No. of shows18 in Europe
49 in North America
1 cancellation
67 in total
Megadeth tour chronology
So Far...So Good...So What! Tour
Clash of the Titans
Rust in Peace Tour
Slayer tour chronology
World Sacrifice Tour
Clash of the Titans
Touring in the Abyss
Testament tour chronology
Practice What You Preach Tour
Clash of the Titans
Souls of Black Tour
Suicidal Tendencies tour chronology
Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit...Déjà Vu Tour
Clash of the Titans
Lights...Camera...Revolution! Tour
Anthrax tour chronology
State of Euphoria Tour
Clash of the Titans
Persistence of Time Tour
Alice in Chains tour chronology
Facelift Tour
Clash of the Titans
SAP Tour

Clash of the Titans was a concert tour co-headlined by American thrash metal bands Megadeth and Slayer, which took place in September and October 1990 and again from May to July 1991. Launched in support of their respective albums Rust in Peace and Seasons in the Abyss, the tour had two legs, first in Europe (supported by Testament and Suicidal Tendencies) and second in the United States (tri-headlined by Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax and supported by Alice in Chains). Clash of the Titans is considered one of the most successful tours in heavy metal history, and bridged the gap between the popularity of thrash metal and rise of the alternative rock and grunge scene.[1][2]


The tour began in the fall of 1990 with a three-week European leg featuring Megadeth, Slayer, Testament and Suicidal Tendencies, promoting their then-current albums Rust in Peace, Seasons in the Abyss, Souls of Black and Lights...Camera...Revolution! respectively.

A second leg in 1991 in the United States and Canada had a slightly different lineup: Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax headlined, and Alice in Chains supported; while Megadeth and Slayer were still promoting their respective albums Rust in Peace and Seasons in the Abyss, Anthrax was supporting their fifth studio album Persistence of Time and Alice in Chains was touring behind their debut album Facelift. Testament was the opening act for the May 26, 1991 show at the Cow Palace in Daly City, effectively reuniting three-fourths of the European lineup.[3]

Alice in Chains was not originally on the bill for the U.S. tour. According to the documentary Get Thrashed, Death Angel was to be the supporting act – however, after a near-fatal tour bus crash, they were forced to bow out.[1] Sepultura was also mooted for the tour, but, according to then-frontman Max Cavalera, "got kicked out", and instead embarked on the New Titans on the Block tour with Sacred Reich, Napalm Death and Sick of It All.[4][5] Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian stated in an interview with Guitar World that they wanted Pantera as the opening act of the Clash of the Titans tour.[1] Other bands, such as Exodus, Vio-lence, Kreator and Obituary, also reportedly declined to take part in the tour as the opening act.

"We didn't start making any money until 1991, on the Clash of the Titans tour in the States – not even a dime," recalled Ian. "I got home from that tour to receive a cheque for a sizeable amount and called my accountant, saying, 'There must be a mistake.' We were of Iron Maiden's style of mindset, where we had to have these huge stage sets, and everything went straight back into the band."[6]

Interesting to note is that Metallica was the only "big four" of thrash metal act that did not take part in the Clash of the Titans tour. Slayer guitarist Kerry King told Guitar World that, "There might have even been talk of a 'Big Four' tour back then, but we probably couldn't get Metallica onboard. But we had three pieces of it, and that was all the management and promoters needed."[1] Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante and Megadeth bassist David Ellefson have indicated that one of the reasons Metallica was not part of the Clash of the Titans tour was due to their ascension to popularity, specifically with their self-titled "black album", which was not released until five weeks after the tour's conclusion. King added, "I knew Metallica wouldn't be a part of it 'cause they didn't need us."[7][8]


On November 16, 2009, it was announced that the European Clash of the Titans lineup would be reunited after nineteen years on the American Carnage Tour, featuring Megadeth, Slayer and Testament. On July 13, 2010, a second leg of the American Carnage Tour was announced that would feature the American Clash of the Titans lineup: Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. Neither Suicidal Tendencies nor Alice in Chains featured in either lineup.

Possible reboot[edit]

On December 9, 2017, reported that a rebooted Clash of the Titans tour featuring Megadeth, Slayer, Testament and Sepultura was in the works, and scheduled to take place in 2018 or 2019 in support of new albums from these four bands.[9][10] More speculation about a tour similar to Clash of the Titans was renewed in January 2018, when Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine mentioned a potential tour featuring Exodus and three of the "big four" (Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax);[11] a month later, Mustaine tweeted another potential tour similar to Clash of the Titans, titled "The New Big 4", featuring Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus and Testament.[12]

When Slayer announced their farewell tour in January 2018, it was suggested that the recently-rumored Clash of the Titans tour (also featuring Megadeth, Sepultura and Testament) would take place as part of the aforementioned tour.[13][14][15][16] Although Mustaine cryptically denied that this tour was in the works,[17] he stated in a June 2018 interview with Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon that, "I hope that Megadeth and Slayer get to go one more round somewhere. I think it would be great, especially if it was a 'Big Four' show, but that's entirely up to them. And if it doesn't happen, we've had our share of Slayer and Megadeth shows, and I'll always appreciate those times together."[18] Testament frontman Chuck Billy also commented on the tour rumors, referring to Slayer's farewell tour, "I doubt it, this is Slayer's last tour so this is it. There will be no more Slayer tours, ha ha."[19]

When asked in August 2018 by CBS San Francisco about the possibility of a new Clash of the Titans tour with Slayer and Megadeth, Anthrax bassist Frank Bello stated, "I wouldn't say it's under wraps because I don't know about it. But I would absolutely love for the Big 4 thing to happen again. That would be the right thing to do for everybody. I would love that. I mean, as far as Slayer goes, I'm sure they're going to do more shows next year, but I don't know if we'll be on them, because we do have our album to write. It's all about scheduling and agents and all that. But we'd be open to any of that, specifically the Big 4. I think all four bands that were involved with the Big 4 would love to do it again. But that's totally up to Metallica."[20]

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
September 22, 1990 Genk Belgium Limburghal
September 23, 1990 Bern Switzerland Festhalle
September 24, 1990 Florence Italy Firenze Palasport
September 25, 1990 Milan Palatrussardi
September 27, 1990 Barcelona Spain Velòdrom d'Horta
September 28, 1990 San Sebastián Velodromo de Anoeta
September 30, 1990 Leiden Netherlands Groenoordhallen
October 2, 1990 Paris France Le Zénith
October 3, 1990 Stuttgart Germany Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle
October 4, 1990 Mainz Rheingoldhalle
October 5, 1990 Munich Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle
October 6, 1990 Düsseldorf Philips Halle
October 7, 1990 Bremen Stadthalle Bremen
October 9, 1990 Stockholm Sweden Solnahallen
October 10, 1990 Copenhagen Denmark K.B. Hallen
October 12, 1990 Edinburgh United Kingdom Exhibition and Trade Centre
October 13, 1990 Birmingham National Exhibition Centre
October 14, 1990 London Wembley Arena
North America[21]
May 16, 1991 Dallas United States Starplex Amphitheatre
May 17, 1991 Lubbock, Texas Lubbock Municipal Coliseum
May 18, 1991 San Antonio Sunken Gardens Amphitheater
May 19, 1991 Houston, Texas The Summit
May 21, 1991 El Paso, Texas El Paso County Coliseum
May 22, 1991 Albuquerque, New Mexico Tingley Coliseum
May 23, 1991 Phoenix, Arizona Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
May 24, 1991 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
May 25, 1991 Costa Mesa, California Pacific Amphitheatre
May 26, 1991 Daly City, California Cow Palace
May 27, 1991 Sacramento, California ARCO Arena
May 29, 1991 Portland, Oregon Memorial Coliseum
May 30, 1991 Seattle Mercer Arena
May 31, 1991 Spokane, Washington Spokane Coliseum
June 1, 1991 Vancouver Canada Pacific Coliseum
June 3, 1991 Salt Lake City United States Bonneville Raceway
June 5, 1991 Morrison, Colorado Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 6, 1991 Omaha, Nebraska Omaha Civic Auditorium
June 7, 1991 Bonner Springs, Kansas Sandstone Amphitheater
June 8, 1991 Cedar Rapids, Iowa Five Seasons Center
June 9, 1991 Forest Lake, Minnesota Trout Aire Amphitheatre
June 11, 1991 Springfield, Illinois Prairie Capital Convention Center
June 12, 1991 Louisville, Kentucky Louisville Gardens
June 14, 1991 Tinley Park, Illinois First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
June 15, 1991 East Troy, Wisconsin Alpine Valley Music Theatre
June 16, 1991 Columbus, Ohio Battelle Hall
June 18, 1991 Noblesville, Indiana Deer Creek Music Center
June 20, 1991 Richfield, Ohio Richfield Coliseum
June 21, 1991 Toronto Canada Exhibition Stadium
June 22, 1991 Clarkston, Michigan United States Pine Knob Music Theatre
June 23, 1991 Mears, Michigan Val du Lakes Amphitheatre
June 25, 1991 Burgettstown, Pennsylvania Star Lake Amphitheatre
June 26, 1991 Corfu, New York Darien Lake
June 27, 1991 Middletown, New York Orange County Fair Speedway
June 28, 1991 New York City Madison Square Garden
June 29, 1991 Philadelphia Wachovia Spectrum[22]
June 30, 1991 Baltimore 1st Mariner Arena
July 1, 1991 Hampton, Virginia Hampton Coliseum
July 3, 1991 Hershey, Pennsylvania Hersheypark Stadium
July 4, 1991 Weedsport, New York Cayuga County Speedway
July 5, 1991 Portland, Maine Cumberland County Civic Center[23]
July 6, 1991 Mansfield, Massachusetts Great Woods
July 7, 1991 Bristol, Connecticut Lake Compounce
July 9, 1991 Fayetteville, North Carolina Cumberland County Crown Coliseum
July 10, 1991 Greenville, South Carolina Greenville Memorial Auditorium
July 11, 1991 Charleston, South Carolina King Street Palace
July 12, 1991 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
July 13, 1991 Lakeland, Florida Lakeland Civic Center
July 14, 1991 Miami Miami Arena


Date City Country Venue
June 17, 1991 Cincinnati United States Riverbend Music Center


References and notes[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Clash of the Titans Tour: Iron Giants". Guitar World. April 13, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Spreading The Disease: An Oral History Of Thrash Metal". March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Testament Concert Setlist at Cow Palace, Daly City on May 26, 1991". Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "From 'Schizophrenia' to 'Psychosis:' The Evolution of Max Cavalera". November 12, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Max Cavalera: Why Sepultura Were Booted Out from the 1991 'Clash of the Titans Tour'". April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Ling, Dave (March 2017). "Live! Anthrax". Classic Rock #233. p. 104.
  7. ^ "Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax: The Oral History of the Big 4". Revolver. December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Megadeth's David Ellefson: How I Became One of the 1st Metal Bassists to Use 5-String Bass". January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  9. ^ "Rumor: Slayer, Megadeth, Sepultura and Testament to Embark on New Version of the 'Clash of the Titans' Tour". December 9, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  10. ^ "Is the Revamped 'Clash of the Titans' Tour (Megadeth, Slayer, Sepultura and Testament) Actually Happening? Facebook Page Weighs In". December 28, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  11. ^ "MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE Would Love To Play 'Big Four' Show Where All Bands 'Got Treated Fairly'". January 30, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  12. ^ "MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE Reveals New 'Big Four'; METALLICA And SLAYER Are Out". February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  13. ^ "Slayer geben Auflösung bekannt, finale Tournee angekündigt". January 31, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  14. ^ "Report: The New 'Clash of the Titans Tour' (Megadeth, Slayer, Sepultura, Testament) Could Be the Last of Slayer". March 12, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "Slayer have announced their farewell UK arena tour". May 13, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  16. ^ "The New 'Clash of the Titans' Tour (Megadeth, Slayer, Sepultura, Testament) Might Be a Reality After All". May 16, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Dave Mustaine: There's No Truth to Rumors That Megadeth Will Embark on a New Version of the 'Clash Of The Titans' Tour with Slayer, Sepultura and Testament". May 21, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  18. ^ "DAVE MUSTAINE: I Never Said That LARS ULRICH Was Standing In The Way Of More 'Big Four' Shows". June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  19. ^ "Testament Interview – MHF". Metalheads Forever Magazine. July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "CBS SF Talks To Anthrax Bassist Frank Bello". CBS San Francisco. August 22, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  21. ^ "Alice in Chains Concert Chronology 1991 ((c) 2005, Dionysian Home Page)".
  22. ^ Review of show at Philadelphia Note that review, in 7/3 newspaper, mentions show taking place "last Saturday night", which should be the 29th of June – a date already on this list. More research needed for this venue and the Buffalo one
  23. ^