‘The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria’ To Premiere On PALLADIA, VH1 CLASSIC In March

According to Elliot Levin of the New York Hard Rock Examiner, footage of the June 22, 2010 Sonisphere cinecast from the Sofia, Bulgaria featuring the “Big Four” of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX — will premiere on MTV Networks channels Palladia and VH1 Classic this March.

MTV confirmed today that select songs from each band, as well as the lauded group jam on DIAMOND HEAD‘s “Am I Evil?”, will first air on March 19.

The footage has become a best-selling DVD and Blu-ray title and was simulcast live in movie theaters across the country, but this will mark the first time it airs on a basic cable channel and at no extra cost to the viewer. In an added bonus, the footage will air in high definition on Palladia, which prides itself on HD concert content.

Preceding the hour-long the “Big Four” special will be additional footage of other bands and performances from Sonisphere, including ALICE IN CHAINS, MÖTLEY CRÜE and more.

The U.S. edition of the touring rock festival featuring the “Big Four” of 1980s thrash metal will take place on Saturday, April 23 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

For more information about the show, including ticket pricing and transportation information, check out TheBig4Festival.com.

The so-called “Big Four” are arguably the biggest and longest-lasting acts to emerge from the thrash/speed metal underground of the late ’80s, but never shared a stage together until last year.

The two-disc DVD release of “The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria”, containing footage of the June 22, 2010 Sonisphere cinecast from the Sofia, Bulgaria leg of the “Big Four” tour has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments in excess of 100,000 copies. (Note: Due to the fact that the set consists of two discs, it was eligible for platinum certification after shipping 50,000 copies; platinum certification for a single-disc release is 100,000 copies.)

“The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard “Top Music Videos” sales chart in November with first-week sales of 22,000 copies. The set also debuted at No. 1 in Canada, the U.K. and Austria, while entering at No. 4 in Germany.

The show was part of a two-week European tour featuring the four biggest names from the Eighties thrash metal era. The idea first came up last year and Ulrich told The Pulse of Radio he was glad to finally see it happen. “It’s pretty amazing if you think about it, that it’s the first time basically in 25 years or 30 or whatever that the four of us have actually played shows together,” he said. “So it was a lot of fun, a lot of memories, a lot of fun times — new fun times, and fun times talking about the old fun times. So it sort of was a, it was a winner on every front.”

“The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria” set features full shows from all four bands along with behind-the-scenes and interview footage.

A “Big Four” tour of other parts of Europe is being planned for this summer.

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