Staged on Sept. 6 and 8 in San Francisco, the pair of shows honored the 20th anniversary of Metallica's first collaboration with their hometown symphony

By Jordan Runtagh
October 02, 2019 10:54 AM

Weren’t able to make the trek to California last month to catch the two nights of S&M², Metallica‘s collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony? Well you’re in luck, because the concert film for the epic musical event will hit theaters across the globe on Oct. 9 for one night only.

Staged on Sept. 6 and 8 at the Chase Center, the pair of shows honored the 20th anniversary of the metal legends’ original union with their hometown symphony, 1999’s S&M (Symphony & Metallica). The live album of the shows held at the Berkeley Community Theatre that April earned the band a best rock instrumental performance Grammy in 2001 for “The Call of Ktulu.”

“No Leaf Clover,” a previously unreleased track performed at the concerts, ultimately rose to the top of Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock chart at the time.

Distributed by Trafalgar Releasing, 2019’s S&M² concert features the first live performances of the S&M arrangements in two decades, in addition to renditions of newer Metallica songs boasting orchestral charts by Bruce Coughlin.

The original production was the brainchild of late conductor Michael Kamen, who died in 2003. Edwin Outwater led the orchestra this time around, and Michael Tilson Thomas also put in a special appearance during his final season as the San Francisco Symphony Music Director.

Metallica at the S&M² concert.
| Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The show features the seldom-performed “(Anesthesia)-Pulling Teeth,” a track from Metallica’s 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All which served a showcase for then-bassist Cliff Burton, who was killed in a bus accident on Sept. 27, 1986. The San Francisco Symphony’s principal bass player, Scott Pingel, played the late musician’s signature solo at the S&M² shows.

“He just is really passionate and had put a lot of time and effort into it,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone backstage prior to the set. “It made me realize how influential Cliff’s approach was, how unique it was, and how people liked him.”

He continued, “To me, what Scott is doing is the ultimate tribute.”

James Hetfield at the S&M² concert.
| Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Tickets for the concert film are on sale now. Visit for theater locations and more information.