On Sept. 6 and 8 of 2019, Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony performed two sold-out concerts at the Chase Center in San Francisco. These one-of-a-kind performances were recorded professionally and first released in theaters last October and recently as a live album on Aug. 28, under the title “S&M 2.” In addition to being made available as an album, this recording is also accessible on DVD, vinyl and streaming services worldwide.
For the few of you who may not know, Metallica is a thrash metal band formed in 1982. They have sold over 100 million albums and are one of the most successful hard rock/heavy metal bands of all time.
Metallica previously collaborated with the Symphony in 1999 to perform and record the album “S&M,” and this performance was planned as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the concert. The performance also marked the grand opening of the Chase Center, which is the new home to the Golden State Warriors of the NBA.
The performances were highly anticipated and had high expectations due to the positive reviews from “S&M,” and the band did not disappoint. From the opening chord to “The Call of Ktulu” to the last note of fan favorite “Enter Sandman,” the energy from the band and symphony was off the charts.
On both nights, they ripped through a unique 21-song set, which included many of their well-known hits such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “One,” “Master of Puppets” and “Nothing Else Matters,” as well as deep cuts such as “All Within My Hands,” “Unforgiven III,” “The Outlaw Torn” and “The Day That Never Comes.” The band wrapped up the show with a performance of “Enter Sandman,” and left the crowd dazzled and asking for more.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was a tribute to late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton by Scott Pingel of the San Francisco Symphony. Burton, who was tragically killed in a tour bus accident in 1986, was featured on the first three Metallica albums: “Kill ‘Em All,” “Ride the Lightning” and “Master of Puppets.” Pingel performed “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth),” a song that featured a legendary bass solo by Burton. He did a phenomenal job of pulling this song off, and when joined by the symphony, the outcome was nothing short of amazing.
The Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas, put a fantastic spin on the songs and gave them an emotional, melodic feeling that grew stronger as the night went by.
Metallica and the Symphony picked up where they left off over 20 years ago, and the chemistry between them was top-notch. It is a challenge for any band to perform their songs with the backing of an orchestra, but Metallica always delivers for their fans and this time was no different.
In my opinion, this is a must have for Metallica fans and for rock fans everywhere. This one-of-a-kind performance is available to purchase on Metallica’s website, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
Erick Klambara is a second-year student majoring in media and cultures. EK924666@wcupa.edu