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Arts + Culture Music A real heavy metal parking lot: Metallica comes to...

A real heavy metal parking lot: Metallica comes to drive-ins

Ready to bang your head from the backseat? The legendary local band takes to outdoor screens in a sign of the times.


Metallica, the Bay Area-based thrash metal veteran outfit, who has sold over 58 million albums in the United States alone, will be performing this summer at a drive-in possibly near you. The iconic band will be the first non-country act to participate in the Encore Drive-In Nights series. As with these types of shows, participating venues will adhere to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, including outfitting staff with personal protective equipment and maintaining at least six feet of space between cars.

It’s been nearly a year since the band opened the Chase Center in San Francisco—becoming the de facto symbol of large live music events that are still sadly out of reach. For the drive-in event, Metallica will record the concert at an undisclosed location near their Northern California home base. The screening of this somewhat historic show, and their first concert of 2020, takes place simultaneously at hundreds of drive-ins and outdoor theaters across the US and Canada on August 29. Tickets to the Encore Drive-In Nights gig cost $115 per carload, which admits up to six people. Post-grunge rockers Three Days Grace will “open” the show.

The Bay Area drive-in locations playing the concert include Pleasanton, Concord, and Sonoma, so it’ll be a rock ‘n roll road trip—but perhaps worth it for the experience alone, considering live performances have been on hold for about five months.

“It’s been a crazy, hectic, thrilling, and exciting time at Metallica HQ as the four of us have all been in the same room making music for the first time in almost a year!” a statement on the band’s site. “What’s going on, you ask? We’re recording a concert to appear at your local drive-in theater… that’s what! We’ve been rehearsing at HQ for a show that will be shot especially for the drive-ins… and then we’ll pass it off to our award-winning production team to then be edited and mixed at the highest standards possible to be beamed into your cars from the big screen.”

Droves of San Franciscans boarded trains, walked, Ubered, and biked to Chase Center last year for the band’s much-ballyhooed inaugural performance last year with the San Francisco Symphony. The September concert, recorded as their “S&M2” performance, spanned two sold-out nights at the newly constructed multi-billion dollar venue. That was the past—will head-banging in the backseat be the future of live music?

General on-sale tickets for the August 29 show begin Fri/14 at noon. More info here. 

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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