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performances of the original arrangements — although the original featured former bassist Jason Newsted who has since been replaced by Robert Trujillo.
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.