The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria
|The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria|
|Video by Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax|
|Released||October 29, 2010|
|Recorded||22 June 2010 at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria|
|Genre||Thrash metal, speed metal, heavy metal music|
|Label||Warner Bros. (U.S.)
|Metallica video chronology|
|Metallica live chronology|
|Slayer video chronology|
|Slayer live chronology|
|Megadeth video chronology|
|Megadeth live chronology|
|Anthrax video chronology|
|Anthrax live chronology|
The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria is a DVD/Blu-ray featuring live concert performances by Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax, collectively known as "the big four" of thrash metal. The event took place on June 22, 2010 at the Sonisphere Festival at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria. Before its DVD release, it was shown at 450 movie theaters in the United States and over 350 movie theaters across Europe, Canada, and Latin America on June 22, 2010.
Critical reviews of the DVD were mostly favorable. Websites such as AllMusic and About.com were positive, though Blogcritics gave the DVD a mixed review. The DVD peaked at number one on the United States, United Kingdom, Austrian, and Canadian charts, and also charted on three other charts. It was certified gold in Germany, and provided Slayer with its first platinum certification.
Background and release
On Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at the Sonisphere Festival at Bemowo Airport in Warsaw, Poland, the "big four"—Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax performed together for the first time. The members of the four bands (except for Slayer's Jeff Hanneman) were first photographed together on the previous day. Their live concert, on June 22, was for one night only. Directed by Nick Wickham, the event was filmed and transmitted via satellite to over 450 movie theaters in the United States and over 350 movie theaters across Europe, Canada, and Latin America, including London's famed Leicester Square. Tickets were made available for around $20 at TheBigFourLive.com, which also listed the theaters where the concert was being screened. Delayed screenings took place in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
The film's contents and artwork were revealed on August 25, 2010. A limited-edition guitar pick was unveiled a day after the artwork was revealed. The European release was initially scheduled for October 11, but Metallica later announced on their official site that the European release would be pushed back to October 15, with an International release on October 18, and a North American release on October 19, 2010. On September 15, it was announced that a "super deluxe" limited edition box set would be released on the same date as the regular edition, and a 36-second video preview of the box set was released on September 17. In mid September, publication was postponed further to a European release on October 29, an International release on November 1, and a North American release on November 2, 2010. Four teaser clips from the video were released on October 12, and nine days later, Metallica's performance of "Sad but True", taken from the film, was released. A three-and-a-half-minute trailer was released on September 21, 2010.
The Slayer title card before the band's performance is the only one of the four bands that did not feature their official logo. In addition, all Slayer members (except drummer Dave Lombardo) did not participate in the 'Am I Evil?' performance due to lack of interest.
|June 16, 2010||Warsaw||Poland||Sonisphere Festival - Lotnisko Bemowo|
|June 18, 2010||Jonschwil||Switzerland||Sonisphere Festival - Jonschwil Degenaupark|
|June 19, 2010||Milovice||Czech Republic||Sonisphere Festival - Letiště Milovice|
|June 22, 2010||Sofia||Bulgaria||Sonisphere Festival - Natsionalen stadion Vasil Levski|
|June 24, 2010||Athens||Greece||Sonisphere Festival - Terra Vibe Park|
|June 26, 2010||Bucharest||Romania||Sonisphere Festival - Complexul expozițional Romexpo|
|June 27, 2010||Istanbul||Turkey||Sonisphere Festival - BJK İnönü Stadyumu|
|April 23, 2011||Indio, California||United States||Empire Polo Club||$4,793,768||44,205|
|July 2, 2011||Gelsenkirchen||Germany||Veltins-Arena|
|July 3, 2011||Gothenburg||Sweden||Ullevi||56,000|
|July 6, 2011||Milan||Italy||Fiera Open Air Arena|
|July 8, 2011||Knebworth||United Kingdom||Sonisphere Festival - Knebworth House|
|July 9, 2011||Amnéville||France||Sonisphere Festival - Snowhall Parc|
|September 14, 2011||New York City, New York||United States||Yankee Stadium||$5,371,167||41,762|
The album was received positively by music critics. Thom Jurek gave it four out of five stars in his review for AllMusic, and stated that "each [song] is incredibly energetic, clearly riding the crowd excitement of the event, and the performances are stellar without a lapse." He pointed to Anthrax's "Madhouse" and "Antisocial"; Megadeth's "Head Crusher" and the "Peace Sells/Holy Wars Reprise"; Slayer's "Angel of Death", "Seasons in the Abyss", and "Raining Blood"; and Metallica's "Fade to Black", "Creeping Death", "Master of Puppets", and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" as musical highlights, and described the encore performance of "Am I Evil?", in which members of all four bands perform, as "an historic high point."
In a mixed review for Blogcritics, Chris Beaumont summed up that "Watching these promo DVDs makes me want the Blu-ray that much more. The performances are great, the sets are great, and it is hard not to get excited about these guys taking the stage together. This is metal."
Chad Bowar, writing for About.com, said that the concert was "one of the defining moments and biggest events in recent metal history" and commented that the bands "can still put on a great show" despite their age. He distinguished the styles of each band, writing: "Anthrax has a more lighthearted, fun approach, while Megadeth is 100 percent business with very little banter and focus on the music. Slayer has a more ominous vibe, although their evil mystique has lessened over the years. Metallica were very inclusive, with James Hetfield acting as everybody's favorite uncle interacting with the crowd and taking time to soak it all in."
Charts and certificates
DVD 1/BD 1/CD 1
|1.||"Caught in a Mosh"||Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Dan Spitz||6:04|
|2.||"Got the Time"||Joe Jackson||3:42|
|3.||"Madhouse"||Belladonna, Bello, Benante, Ian, Spitz||4:24|
|4.||"Be All, End All"||Belladonna, Bello, Benante, Ian, Spitz||8:00|
|5.||"Antisocial"||Bernie Bonvoisin, Norbert Krief||6:37|
|6.||"Indians"/"Heaven and Hell (Ronnie James Dio † Tribute)"||Belladonna, Bello, Benante, Ian, Spitz/
Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler
|7.||"Medusa"||Belladonna, Bello, Benante, Ian, Spitz, Jon Zazula||5:53|
|8.||"Only"||Bello, Benante, John Bush, Ian||6:46|
|9.||"Metal Thrashing Mad"||Benante, Ian, Dan Lilker, Spitz, Neil Turbin||3:27|
|10.||"I Am the Law"||Belladonna, Bello, Benante, Ian, Lilker, Spitz||8:14|
DVD 1/BD 1/CD 2
|1.||"Holy Wars... The Punishment Due"||Dave Mustaine||6:33|
|3.||"Wake Up Dead"||Mustaine||3:44|
|4.||"Head Crusher"||Mustaine, Shawn Drover||3:18|
|5.||"In My Darkest Hour"||Mustaine, Dave Ellefson||5:26|
|6.||"Skin o' My Teeth"||Mustaine||3:14|
|7.||"À Tout le Monde"||Mustaine||4:28|
|8.||"Hook in Mouth"||Mustaine, Ellefson||4:39|
|9.||"Trust"||Mustaine, Marty Friedman||5:04|
|11.||"Symphony of Destruction"||Mustaine||4:15|
|12.||"Peace Sells"/"Holy Wars Reprise"||Mustaine||10:22|
DVD 1/BD 1/CD 3
|1.||"World Painted Blood"||Jeff Hanneman, Tom Araya||6:26|
|3.||"War Ensemble"||Hanneman, Araya||5:09|
|4.||"Hate Worldwide"||Kerry King||3:11|
|5.||"Seasons in the Abyss"||Hanneman, Araya||6:24|
|6.||"Angel of Death"||Hanneman||5:34|
|7.||"Beauty Through Order"||Hanneman, Araya||5:11|
|9.||"Mandatory Suicide"||Hanneman, Araya||4:14|
|10.||"Chemical Warfare"||Hanneman, King||5:50|
|11.||"South of Heaven"||Hanneman, Araya||4:30|
|12.||"Raining Blood"||Hanneman, King||5:30|
DVD 2/BD 2/CD 4 & 5
|1.||"Creeping Death"||James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton, Kirk Hammett||8:11|
|2.||"For Whom the Bell Tolls"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton||4:29|
|3.||"Fuel"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett||4:15|
|4.||"Harvester of Sorrow"||Hetfield, Ulrich||6:18|
|5.||"Fade to Black"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett||7:31|
|6.||"That Was Just Your Life"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, Robert Trujillo||6:53|
|7.||"Cyanide"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, Trujillo||7:16|
|8.||"Sad but True"||Hetfield, Ulrich||6:33|
|9.||"Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett||6:14|
|10.||"All Nightmare Long"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, Trujillo||7:50|
|12.||"Master of Puppets"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett||8:06|
|13.||"Blackened"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Jason Newsted||7:58|
|14.||"Nothing Else Matters"||Hetfield, Ulrich||5:56|
|15.||"Enter Sandman"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett||11:08|
|16.||"Am I Evil?" (with members of Anthrax and Megadeth)||Sean Harris, Brian Tatler||6:05|
|17.||"Hit the Lights"||Hetfield, Ulrich||5:25|
|18.||"Seek & Destroy"||Hetfield, Ulrich||12:40|
DVD Bonus Feature: DVD 2/ BD 2
Behind the scenes documentary backstage at Sonisphere, including interviews and "Am I Evil?" rehearsal footage.
A complete list can be found at AllMusic.
Production and assistance
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