SAN FRANCISCO — Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony will perform at the inaugural concert at the Chase Center, the new home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The team, symphony and band Monday jointly announced the Sept. 6 concert, dubbed “S&M2” for the original time the thrash metal greats and symphony joined forces. It was the first of several events announced for the new state-of-the-art 18,064-seat venue.
“We’ve seen quite a few arenas around the world and it’s been a shame that we didn’t have that where we are based. Thanks for building it for us!” Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield said at a press conference held behind the still-in-development Chase Center Monday morning.
Monday’s announcement was made as part of the organization’s Reveal Week, a week of announcements showcasing the first group of artists to perform at the Chase Center this fall. Tickets will go on sale at a later date, all ticketing information can be found at chasecenter.com. Administrators promised the allure of the new arena would bring the top musical talent to San Francisco, and Monday Bay Area music fans got their first taste of what’s to come.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, Warriors Owner and CEO Joe Lacob and Warriors President and COO Rick Welts also spoke at the press conference.
“It feels really good to be able to say, ‘Welcome to Chase Center!'” Lacob said, while acknowledging the arena won’t be completed for another five months. He added that getting the arena built was even harder than building a perennial championship contender on the court. The Chase Center will be the first arena privately financed, privately owned sports arena in the U.S. Lacob said the Chase Center is the strongest statement yet that the Warriors are more than a sports team; they’re an entertainment company.
“For the first time in a long time, we have a top-tier entertainment destination in the city and county of San Francisco, Breed said. The mayor addressed fears that the arena will be difficult to reach by automobile and public transportation and said the city has a team dedicated to relieving congestion for the arena project and that the entire experience of concertgoers will be a pleasant one.
Anecdotally, Breed said that in her initial conversations with Lacob, she wanted the first performer to be Beyonce. Welts later added that Breed should expect Beyonce to perform at Chase Center within a year.
The Chase Center inaugural event comes on the 20th anniversary of the groups’ first collaboration back in 1999. The groundbreaking original concert, billed as Symphony & Metallica (S&M), took place at the Berkeley Community Theatre and was conducted by the late Michael Kamen. The two-disc S&M album was released later that year and won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
Ulrich said Metallica has always appreciated playing venues for the first time and that helping the SF Symphony open the Chase Center is no exception.
“It’s great to be back and celebrating this,” he said.
Hetfield then spoke about recreating the magic of the original collaborative concert. S&M2 will feature the first live performances in two decades of Michael Kamen’s 1999 arrangements, plus the debut of Metallica and San Francisco Symphony collaborations on arrangements of songs written and released since the original album. The new orchestral arrangements will come from Bruce Coughlin. The concert will feature a special appearance by symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and will be conducted by Edwin Outwater.
“There’s more people on stage and more real musicians on stage,” Hetfield joked. “It’s great that after 38 years there are still opportunities for us like this.”
Michael Tilson Thomas spoke about his goals for the performance, which will include further exploration into combining the many symphonic instruments into the sound of Metallica.
More Chase Center acts will be announced in the coming days. There are strong indications that The Black Keys and Modest Mouse tour may also be on track for a future announcement at the venue. The Warriors will move across the Bay to play at the Chase Center beginning in the 2019 season, and the venue serves as the second downtown arena venue in the city’s history. The team played at the Cow Palace in Daly City before moving to what is now the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in 1964. The Warriors have played home games at Oracle Arena since 1971.