Following in the footsteps of bands such as Pearl Jam and Phish, Metallica will begin offering unedited soundboard recordings of shows from its upcoming North American tour for sale via the Internet.

Following in the footsteps of bands such as Pearl Jam and Phish, Metallica will begin offering unedited soundboard recordings of shows from its upcoming North American tour for sale via the Internet. The trek begins tonight (March 2) in Phoenix; audio files will be available for download approximately four days after each show from LiveMetallica.com.

"This is the next logical step in a process that began back in 1991 when we first implemented the 'Taper Section' at our shows, where the fans were encouraged to bring in their own gear to record the show, and then take home their very own 'bootleg' of the concert they had just seen," drummer Lars Ulrich says in a statement. "This technology will enable our fans to get the best possible recording of the show, without having to hold a microphone in the air for the entire night!"

Fans will be able to download the music in MP3 ($9.95) and FLAC files ($12.95) via a back-end system developed by Nugs.net, which provides similar services for Phish and String Cheese Incident. Each show will come with a printable booklet and labels for fans who wish to burn the music to CD.

Metallica is promising that the upcoming tour will feature a different set list every night as well as tracks that have not been regularly featured for years in live performance.

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