The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria

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The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria
The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria cover.jpg
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ReleasedOctober 29, 2010 (2010-10-29)
Recorded22 June 2010 at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria
Genre Heavy metal, thrash metal
Label Warner Bros. (U.S.)
Vertigo/Mercury (Europe)
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The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria

The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria is a live video with performances by Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax, the "big four" of American thrash metal. [1] The concert took place on June 22, 2010 at the Sonisphere Festival at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria. 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.


Reviews of the DVD were mostly favorable. Websites such as AllMusic and 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 June 16, 2010 at the Sonisphere Festival at Bemowo Airport in Warsaw, Poland, the "big four" of American thrash metal—Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax—performed together for the first time. The bandmembers (except for Slayer's Jeff Hanneman) were first photographed together on the previous day. [2] Their live concert, on June 22, was for one night only. Directed by Nick Wickham, [3] 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. [4] Tickets were made available for around $20 at, which also listed the theaters where the concert was being screened. [5] Delayed screenings took place in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. [2]

The film's contents and artwork were revealed on August 25, 2010. [6] A limited-edition guitar pick was unveiled a day after the artwork was revealed. [7] The European release was initially scheduled for October 11, [8] 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. [9] 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, [10] and a 36-second video preview of the box set was released on September 17. [11] 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. [12] Four teaser clips from the video were released on October 12, [13] and nine days later, Metallica's performance of "Sad but True", taken from the film, was released. [14] A three-and-a-half-minute trailer was released on September 21, 2010. [15]

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. [16] [17]

Event dates

Date [18] [19] CityCountryVenueBoxscoreAttendance
June 16, 2010 Warsaw Poland Sonisphere Festival - Lotnisko Bemowo
June 18, 2010 Jonschwil SwitzerlandSonisphere 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 GreeceSonisphere Festival - Terra Vibe Park
June 26, 2010 Bucharest Romania Sonisphere Festival - Complexul expozițional Romexpo
June 27, 2010 Istanbul TurkeySonisphere Festival - BJK İnönü Stadyumu
April 23, 2011 Indio, California United StatesEmpire Polo Club$4,793,768 [20] 44,205
July 2, 2011 Gelsenkirchen Germany Veltins-Arena
July 3, 2011 Gothenburg Sweden Ullevi 56,000
July 6, 2011 Milan ItalyFiera Open Air Arena
July 8, 2011 Knebworth United KingdomSonisphere Festival - Knebworth House
July 9, 2011 Amnéville FranceSonisphere Festival - Snowhall Parc
September 14, 2011 New York City, New York United States Yankee Stadium $5,371,167 [21] 41,762


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [22] Positive [23]
Blogcritics Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [24]
Jukebox:Metal Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [25]

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." [22]

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." [24]

Chad Bowar, writing for, 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." [23]

Charts and certificates


Track listing

Disc 1 ~ Anthrax
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, Spitz4:24
4."Be All, End All"Belladonna, Bello, Benante, Ian, Spitz8:00
5."Antisocial" Bernie Bonvoisin, Norbert Krief 6:37
6."Indians"/"Heaven and Hell (Ronnie James Dio † Tribute [42] )"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, Ian6:46
9."Metal Thrashing Mad"Benante, Ian, Dan Lilker, Spitz, Neil Turbin 3:27
10."I Am the Law"Belladonna, Bello, Benante, Ian, Lilker, Spitz8:14
Disc 2 ~ Megadeth
1."Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" Dave Mustaine 6:33
2."Hangar 18"Mustaine5:04
3."Wake Up Dead"Mustaine3:44
4."Head Crusher"Mustaine, Shawn Drover 3:18
5."In My Darkest Hour"Mustaine, David Ellefson 5:26
6."Skin o' My Teeth"Mustaine3:14
7."À Tout le Monde"Mustaine4:28
8."Hook in Mouth"Mustaine, Ellefson4:39
9."Trust"Mustaine, Marty Friedman 5:04
10."Sweating Bullets"Mustaine4:50
11."Symphony of Destruction"Mustaine4:15
12."Peace Sells"/"Holy Wars... the Punishment Due" (Reprise)Mustaine10:22
Disc 3 ~ Slayer
1."World Painted Blood" Jeff Hanneman, Tom Araya 6:26
2."Jihad"Hanneman, Araya4:31
3."War Ensemble"Hanneman, Araya5:09
4."Hate Worldwide" Kerry King 3:11
5."Seasons in the Abyss"Hanneman, Araya6:24
6."Angel of Death"Hanneman5:34
7."Beauty Through Order"Hanneman, Araya5:11
8."Disciple"Hanneman, King5:07
9."Mandatory Suicide"Hanneman, Araya4:14
10."Chemical Warfare"Hanneman, King5:50
11."South of Heaven"Hanneman, Araya4:30
12."Raining Blood"Hanneman, King5:30
Disc 4 ~ Metallica - Part. 1
1."Creeping Death" James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton, Kirk Hammett 8:11
2."For Whom the Bell Tolls"Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton4:29
3."Fuel"Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett4:15
4."Harvester of Sorrow"Hetfield, Ulrich6:18
5."Fade to Black"Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett7:31
6."That Was Just Your Life"Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, Robert Trujillo 6:53
7."Cyanide"Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, Trujillo7:16
8."Sad but True"Hetfield, Ulrich6:33
9."Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett6:14
10."All Nightmare Long"Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, Trujillo7:50
Disc 5 ~ Metallica - Part. 2
1."One"Hetfield, Ulrich8:34
2."Master of Puppets"Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett8:06
3."Blackened"Hetfield, Ulrich, Jason Newsted 7:58
4."Nothing Else Matters"Hetfield, Ulrich5:56
5."Enter Sandman"Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett11:08
6."Am I Evil?" (Feat. members of Megadeth, Anthrax, & Dave Lombardo)Sean Harris, Brian Tatler 6:05
7."Hit the Lights"Hetfield, Ulrich5:25
8."Seek & Destroy"Hetfield, Ulrich12:40


A complete list can be found at AllMusic. [43]

Production and assistance

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