Friday Flashback- Metallica in Newton Iowa

Posted on July 1, 2022 at 10:03 AM by The Biker Lawyers

Heavy Metal and Motorcycles- They just go together.

2017: Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, & Volbeat at the Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa

Iowa is loaded with historical concerts that have made their way through the fields of corn.

It’s pretty rare when we get a show here where it feels like the entire state closes down to make their way to the show, but we have been fortunate to have a couple over the years.

Sure, I could talk about the notorious Ozzy Osbourne show where he famously bit the head off a bat in Des Moines, but that was before my time.

No, today we’ll be talking about a show that occurred on June 9, 2017, in Newton, IA at the Iowa Speedway– the biggest of the Big 4- Metallica.

I remember that it felt mind blowing to hear that Metallica was coming back to Iowa! Metallica is known for hitting major markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, etc…but not Iowa!

When we got the news that Metallica was coming to town, I think every metal head in the state collectively stated, “Oh hell yea.”

I had never seen Metallica before, but always wanted to, and there was NO WAY IN HELL that I was going to miss an outdoor show, at a racetrack, of Metallica performing.

I made my way to Newton and the parking lot was filling up with metalheads from not just Iowa, but Minnesota, Wisconsin, nearby in Nebraska, it was a collective of metalheads from all around and most of the crazy people were from right here in Iowa.

What’s fun about an Iowa show like this, is that there weren’t any like massive city skylines to look at like you would in ballpark… just fields as far as the eye can see, it was kind of like Field of Dreams with a bunch of black t-shirts and long head banging hair. 

“…My first thought was ‘Holy crap man…’ My second thought however was ‘Man it’s gonna be a bit to get outta here with parking’.”

Metallica would have been more than enough to satiate our metal appetite, but I almost forgot to mention the night’s “openers!” Heavy hitters Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat… two bands that could easily pack their own arena shows (and have)! As you could tell, the lineup was stacked.


I was fortunate enough to make it to the track so I could get reasonably close to the bands, and the first one up was Volbeat. They were hot off their tracks with some pretty big hits like Lola Montez, A Warrior’s Call, Dead but Rising, and it was kind of crazy to see Volbeat basically as the opening act.

Avenged Sevenfold


What was even more mind blowing was seeing Avenged Sevenfold as the next opening act. Now I have seen this band start as a club band playing to like 400 people (same with Volbeat by the way), but seeing them as an opening act, a band that- at that time- was selling out arenas was kind of surreal to see again.

I mentioned this in my video but it was a stripped down performance and they had some pyro, but really? It was like watching them start are all over again with 90% less stage production; it was pretty crazy to see. Although they brought it 100% with the energy, it was clear they weren’t trying to steal the show from the headliners- not that anyone could!!

Then it was time for the arrival of easily the biggest band in metal of all time, Metallica.


Fresh off their latest album ‘Hardwired to Self-Destruct.’ The track started playing, and boom…there they were, sonically assaulting our ears with their title track ‘Hardwired’ and the crowd basically exploded.

I looked back from where I was standing to see how many people were at the show, and I think all of Iowa and most of the Midwest showed up for this show and my first thought was ‘Holy crap man…’ My second thought however was ‘Man it’s gonna be a bit to get outta here with parking.’

Metallica just slayed us with songs like One, Fuel, Seek and Destroy [full setlist here], going through their catalogue of headbanging hits that I screamed along with every single one, and so did the audience. We were all there to rock, drink beer, and cups of $8 water! They ended the show with the obvious at this point ‘Enter Sandman’ and they called it a night.

I was fortunate enough to get a shirt commemorating the night with the date and band on it, I think it cost me $40 but it was worth it.

I have yet to see Metallica again since that night, but that’s what makes it so memorable. For that one single night in Iowa, the Field of Dreams wasn’t on a baseball field in Dyersville, it was on a racetrack in Newton with loud amplifiers and heavy metal… and it was heaven.

Watch the full Metallica Live at the Iowa Speedway Concert (06/09/17)

[Disclaimer: The following is not Ned’s video]

About The Biker’s Ambassador of Rock

If you live in the Cedar Valley in Iowa, you probably know Ned. If not, you surely know his voice! Ned, the Music Director at Rock 108, is known for his energetic personality, wild spirit, and love for all things Live rock. In an epic collaboration with Rock 108, Ned will be presenting excellent inside experiences to our motorcycle riding community exclusively here so subscribe to the blog and check back every week to see what Ned’s up to next!

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