George Strait, Metallica pair up for a weekend in Atlanta

ATLive Presented by Mercedes-EQ returns Nov. 5-6 to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
George Strait and Metallica will headline ATLive at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in November 2021. Photos by Robb Cohen.

Credit: Robb Cohen

Credit: Robb Cohen

George Strait and Metallica will headline ATLive at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in November 2021. Photos by Robb Cohen.

It’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, but they won’t be happening on the same night.

George Strait and Metallica are headlining ATLive at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in November, with the Texas country legend topping the bill on Friday, Nov. 5, and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Metallica closing out the weekend on Saturday, Nov. 6.

As befits the stature of the headliners, the opening acts are a pretty big deal, too. Eric Church and Caitlyn Smith will get things going on Nov. 5, and Cage the Elephant and Greta Van Fleet are the openers on Nov. 6.

AMB Sports and Entertainment, which developed and promotes ATLive, is teaming up with George Strait and his longstanding partners at the Military Warriors Support Foundation as well as Metallica’s All Within My Hands nonprofit to donate a portion of the proceeds from ATLive to providing housing for wounded veterans and feeding the hungry.

“We are thrilled to be bringing ATLive back with an incredible lineup of artists,” said Tim Zulawski, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, AMB Sports and Entertainment. “From the beginning, our goal was to create a concert series that will become the must-see event for Atlanta. In our first year, we delivered a world-class experience for fans from across the world and we are excited to create that same experience again while giving back to our communities and those in need.”

Country music singer-songwriter Eric Church rocked a sold-out The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 on his Outsiders World tour. Robb D. Cohen/

Credit: Robb D. Cohen/

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Credit: Robb D. Cohen/

ATLive debuted in 2019 with Keith Urban, Sugarland and Blake Shelton on night one, followed two nights later by Eric Church, Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne and Caylee Hammack. They’d initially hoped to put together a night of rock and R&B between those two shows, but the lineup never came together. This time, it seems like the stars — and the musicians — aligned.

Strait officially retired from full-scale touring back in 2014, after completing his “The Cowboy Rides Away” tour, but he never intended to stop performing live.

‘It’s been a long time since we’ve been here,” Strait said in his last Atlanta appearance in March 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, acknowledging the five years since his official retirement tour played what is now known as State Farm Arena. “We’ve got a lot of songs to sing.”

It’s been even longer since Metallica was last onstage at an Atlanta venue. The band played at what was then SunTrust Park (now Truist Park) in July 2017. In her review, Melissa Ruggieri noted that “volume is what makes Metallica one of the most revered hard rock bands in music history and they definitely didn’t disappoint anyone seeking a holy inferno of metal awesomeness.”

Tickets for both nights of ATLive will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, July 16, via Ticketmaster.

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