Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony took the stage for the second of two “S&M²” shows at the brand new Chase Center in San Francisco, CA on September 8 and it was an insane show.
The SF Symphony kicked off the night with a performance of Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstasy Of Gold,” which fans instantly recognized as Metallica’s intro track. As the song came to a close Metallica stormed the middle of the stage to break into “The Call Of Ktulu” as the symphony surrounded them. The instrumental set the tone for the evening with a perfect balance of metal and classical music. From there, the band really got the energy flowing with a rousing performance of “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”
The rest of the first set had a bit of a mixture of songs from the original “S&M” shows and new additions that definitely made an impression in the symphonic format. Highlights from the first part of the show included “The Memory Remains,” which the audience helped make into an epic sing-along, “No Leaf Clover,” which should only be played with a live symphony, “The Day That Never Comes,” and “Moth Into Flame,” which both took on new lives with the additional instrumentation. The band closed the first set with a fiery version of “Halo On Fire.”
After a 25 minute intermission, the SF Symphony returned to perform some “primitive” music for the crowd, an amazing cover of Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev’s “Scythian Suite, Op.20, Second Movement.” At its conclusion, Metallica returned to join in on a cover of Alexander Mosolov’s “futuristic” piece “Iron Foundry.” After that, things just continued to grow even more incredible.
The rest of the second half leaned heavier on the hits, but there was still several more surprises to find along the way. Among them were a moving performance of “The Unforgiven III,” which saw James Hetfield sing with only the symphony backing him up, and a performance of “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth,” which saw the symphony’s principal bassist Scott Pingel paying tribute to Cliff Burton with masterful shredding on an upright bass. Other highlights from the second set included “One,” “Master Of Puppets,” and the band’s closer “Enter Sandman.”
All in all, the “S&M²” shows were once in a lifetime experiences that brought together fans from across the globe for two nights of spectacular music.