US band Metallica’s ‘S&M2’ selling out in GCC ahead of Oct. 9 release

“S&M” is a live album with The San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Kamen. (Getty)
Updated 08 October 2019

US band Metallica’s ‘S&M2’ selling out in GCC ahead of Oct. 9 release

DUBAI: A little over 20 years ago rock giants Metallica recorded the live album, “S&M” with The San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Kamen. The result was a double CD that sold in the millions, as well as a hugely successful video release.

It was certainly an unusual concept — bringing classical music and heavy metal together — but it earned rave reviews from fans and critics, and earned the band a Grammy.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release, Metallica have recorded an updated version, featuring the first live performances of the original arrangements — although the original featured former bassist Jason Newsted who has since been replaced by Robert Trujillo.




Metallica bring classical music and heavy metal together in their music. (Supplied)

The resulting film will be shown across theaters worldwide on October 9th, with advance tickets already on sale in the GCC. Some UAE cinema screenings have already sold out, while Metallica.film states that Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah will confirm screenings. Meaning this could potentially become the first time many of the Kingdom’s Metallica fans see the band “live” (although Metallica have previously performed twice in Abu Dhabi).

Guitarist Kirk Hammett said in a statement, “We’re super-stoked, really excited, and really proud of how it turned out. And we hope you guys will be too. It's a wonderful thing to watch the orchestra. All these musicians coming together… making this huge musical entity. And then for me to then come in and be a part of that — a guitar player who plays loud distorted rock guitar — (is) an amazing opportunity.”

Drummer Lars Ulrich paid tribute to Kamen, who died in 2003.

“Michael was the one who brought the idea 23 years ago,” explained drummer Lars Ulrich. “At that time, the four band members of Metallica were maybe not as involved in the preparations. We trusted Michael. And we depended on him.”

Metallica announced this week that they had postponed their upcoming tour dates in Australia and New Zealand, as frontman James Hetfield has re-entered rehab.

“As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years," the band tweeted. "He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again."

At least fans will have the chance to see their heroes on the big screen in the meantime.

 “There is going to be a connection to the audience that might even get emotional,” said Trujillo.


Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners announced despite lack of ceremony

The winner of each category took home a prize of $204,192. File/Shutterstock
Updated 08 April 2020

Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners announced despite lack of ceremony

DUBAI: Today, the winners of the 2020 Sheikh Zayed Book Award were announced, despite the awards ceremony not going ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A record-breaking year for submissions saw seven awards go to recipients hailing from six countries: the UK, US, the Netherlands, Iraq, Tunisia and Palestine.

A total of 1,900 nominations from 49 countries - 22 Arab and 27 foreign countries - were submitted for the 14th  Sheikh Zayed Book Award across its nine categories.

Salma Khadra Al-Jayussi, 94, was awarded Cultural Personality of the Year for her contribution to Arabic literature and culture.

The prize for literature went to Tunisian poet Moncef Ouhaibi for his book “Belkas ma Qabl Al-Akheera.”

Meanwhile, The Young Author award went to Iraqi writer and academic Hayder Qasim for his book “ilm Al-Kalam Al-Islami fi Derasat Al-Mustashrikeen Al-Alman.”

Palestinian-American author Ibtisam Barakat clinched the Children’s Literature award for her book “Al-Fatah Al-Laylakeyyah.”

Other winners included Tunisian translator Mohamed Ait Mihoub, Dutch author Richard van Leeuwen and London’s Banipal Magazine.

The winner of each category took home a prize of $204,192.