On Monday afternoon, Metallica, revealed it would be celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Grammy Award-winning live album, S&M (1999) in a very special way.
This September, the Enter Sandman rockers will join forces with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) once more for an exclusive performance at San Francisco’s brand new arena-sized venue, the Chase Center.
During an official press conference — which revealed the venue’s grand opening — frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich were invited to the stage along with the SFS’ musical director, Michael Tilson Thomas.
The trio took the time to answer questions and detail the upcoming show.
To honour the original album, it’s being dubbed as ‘S&M²’ — a double entendre, suggesting both a sexual innuendo and, of course, “Symphony & Metallica” part two.
The unexpected announcement marks not only the grand opening of the Chase Center, but also the first time in 20 years that Metallica has played with the SFS.
Back in 1999, the SFS was conducted by American composer, Michael Kamen.
Since his unfortunate death in 2003, Metallica never addressed any possibility of performing again with the critically-acclaimed orchestra. However, with the recent announcement, now seems a better time than any, according to the band.
Thomas, 74, will conduct a portion of the show this time around as revealed in the press conference. The conductor has maintained his role as musical director for nearly 25 years; he joined the SFS in 1995.
“The San Francisco Symphony is delighted to be a part of the Chase Center’s opening week,” said Thomas. “I’m happy to join with my friends in Metallica to make this an extraordinary only-in-San Francisco music event.”
The exclusive concert also serves as the kick-off event for Thomas’ final season with the orchestra before he retires.
The co-founding Metallica members shared their excitement to reunite with the SFS as well as to play such a big show in their home turf, the Bay Area.
“This is beyond exciting on so many fronts,” said Ulrich, 55, “The fact that San Francisco is finally getting a much-needed world-class arena, the fact that Metallica get to be part of the opening celebration, the fact that we get to revisit S&M 20 years later, and the fact that we get to share the stage not only with the San Francisco Symphony once again, but with the legend himself, MTT.”
Hetfield, 55, added, “It’s a beautiful opportunity and we’re super proud that after 38 years, there’s still cool things like this on the horizon for us.”
In 2001, Metallica, Kamen and the rest of the SFS took home the Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Performance’ thanks to a chilling rendition of the band’s 1984 classic, The Call of Ktulu.
A statement issued on the official Metallica website read:
“Please join us for this one-night-only show as we celebrate the addition of what is sure to become a cultural landmark in the Bay Area.”
“We’re thrilled to be invited to be a part of it and humbled to be sharing the stage with the legendary MTT,” it continued, “and the city’s finest musicians in the San Francisco Symphony.”
Presales for ‘Legacy’ Metallica fanclub members begin on March 19 at 12 p.m. ET. ‘Fifth Members’ will further be granted access at 1 p.m.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday (March 22) at 1 p.m. They can be purchased through the Chase Center’s official website.
As of this writing, Metallica has no Canadian tour dates.