Metallica fans came together at INOX, Quest mall, to catch the screening of Metallica and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Together Again. Live. Vocalist Paloma Majumder watched the concert, soaked in the headbanging experience and then penned a piece for The Telegraph.
April 21, 1999, saw two of the most diverse musical acts from the San Francisco Bay Area join forces to provide one epic show where metal and classical music fans were enthralled and confused at the same time. The one-night of harmonious relationship was established as Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony performed their S&M (Symphony and Metallica) concert. Twenty years later, the same monumental phenomenon was brought back to life at the opening of the Chase Centre on September 6, 2019 where director Wayne Isham reminded all of us why this concert film was critically acclaimed in the first place. The two contrasting styles — the unsullied waves of the symphony and the colossal attack of metal — showed the adaptability of these seasoned artistes.
The show displayed its grandeur as the symphony started off with their tried-and-tested intro The Ecstasy of Gold, as the crowd burst into anticipation at the arrival of their historic heroes. The conductor Edwin Outwater led the symphony to success as they played in perfect unison to the opening instrumental of The Call of Ktulu as Metallica took the reigns. Throughout the first half of this 150-minute-concert, Isham with his emphatic directorial guidance managed to capture the juxtaposition between the orderly, grand energy of the symphony and the chaotic, assertive presence of the band.
During the intermission Lars Ulrich addressed the fans who had come down from different parts of the world, which was followed by Alexander Musolov’s Iron Foundry that got visibly heavy to watch as the band struggled to keep up with the nuances of the piece.
However, Kirk Hammett’s meandering, strong solo came to the rescue as they made their way into The Unforgiven III.
At the heart of this collaboration were really humane moments between the orchestra and the heavy metal band. On one occasion James Hetfield was seen fist-bumping the timpani player after a very difficult drum solo in For Whom The Bell Tolls.
The mastering of the sound did justice in summing up the live feel while accentuating the hard-hitting performance and yet keeping the quality of the music intact for the theatre. Renditions of Metallica classics like Master of Puppets, Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman gave the audience a just ending to this concert of epic proportions.
One may look back at this film as an example of the varied explosion of colours that can be created through the collaboration between two seemingly contrasting genres of music.