Billboard Bits: Metallica, Fire Theft, River Rocks

News on Metallica, Fire Theft, River Rocks

MetallicaMetallica is the first act confirmed for the 2004 Big Day Out tour of Australia and New Zealand, which will kick off Jan. 16 in Auckland. Along the way, Metallica will play three separate headlining shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Big Day Out tickets go on sale Oct. 10.

Metallica is in the midst of its Summer Sanitarium tour with Deftones, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit and Mudvayne. The trek rolls into Landover, Md., tomorrow (July 18). Metallica's new Elektra album, "St. Anger," is No. 7 in its sixth week on The Billboard 200 and has sold 1.14 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Last year's Big Day Out featured Jane's Addiction, Underworld, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Wilco and PJ Harvey, among others.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

FireThe Fire Theft, which features three former members of Sunny Day Real Estate, will kick off a North American tour Sept. 26 in Vancouver. The group -- vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Enigk, bassist Nate Mendel, drummer William Goldsmith, keyboardist Nick Macri and guitarist Bill Dolan -- has wrapped work on its
self-titled Rykodisc debut, due in October.

Although the tracklist for the album is not yet finalized, fans can download a demo of the cut "Chain" from the Fire Theft's official Web site.

Here are The Fire Theft's tour dates:

Sept. 26: Vancouver (Richard's on Richards)
Sept. 27: Seattle (Graceland)
Sept. 29: San Francisco (Great American Music Hall)
Sept. 30: Los Angeles (Troubadour)
Oct. 3: San Diego (Epicentre)
Oct. 5: Denver (Larimer Lounge)
Oct. 7: Minneapolis (Triple Rock)
Oct. 8-9: Chicago (Bottom Lounge)
Oct. 11: Toronto (Lee's Palace)
Oct. 13-14: New York (Knitting Factory)
Oct. 15: Philadelphia (TLA)
Oct. 17: Washington, D.C. (Black Cat)
Oct. 18: Boston (Axis)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

WalkThe Walkmen, Adam Green and the Oranges Band will perform at the third and final concert in the 2003 Hudson River Rocks series of free, open-air concerts at New York's Pier 54 on the Hudson River. The trio will perform Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.

Previous concerts in the series have featured Pretty Girls Make Graves, Broken Social Scene, the Natural History, Headhunters, Topaz and Radio Mundial.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Walkmen's debut "Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone" (Star Time International) was released in 2002, while Baltimore's the Oranges Band released its full-length debut "All Around" in April on Lookout! Records. Adam Green, one-half of the duo the Moldy Peaches, will on Tuesday (July 22) release his second solo album "Friends of Mine" on Rough Trade Records.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.