Metallica & San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Collectively known as “S&M“, I’ve recently re-discovered just how much I love this recording/concert.


It’s been almost ten years since this gig took place (April 21 and April 22 1999, Berkeley Community Theatre, California) and personally, I would still rate it as perhaps one of the best musical recordings, EVER.

Those who know me may be a little surprised at my being a fan of Metallica (believe me, it’s not all STEPS and Kylie hehe!), however I have been a fan of rock music much longer than I have of pop and so hearing some of this music really does stir up memories from long ago and whatnot. I can still remember hearing this music constantly at college when my friends had control over the common stereo, and afternoons spent in friend’s bedrooms watching these performances, with all them playing and singing along (all of my friends played guitar, whilst I was more of a piano kind of person).

I think that the idea of a marriage between rock music and a symphony orchestra via the medium of a live concert is pretty revolutionary. The sound that they manage to create together is absolutely phenominal, and Michael Kamen deserves a lot of kudos for his classical scoring and integration which really does set off and compliment Metallica’s songs and their performance. I love classical music, and I love rock music – and the combination of the two is truly electric in my opinion.

Although I am a fan of most Metallica songs, if I ultimately had to choose between versions, I would choose the S&M versions over the originals pretty much every time over. I have included video clips of some of my favourites below.

Nothing Else Matters

No Leaf Clover

The Call Of Ktulu

Master Of Puppets

Until It Sleeps

This evening, I have been watching the DVD recording of this concert on my HDMI TV/DVD player with the volume cranked right up… simply put, it is an awesome experience! Ten years may have passed and the line-up may have changed, however this doesn’t feel at all dated. A classic recording in my opinion, and one of my all-time favourites.

About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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