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(Almost) live: Metallica takes the stage in ‘unique and special’ drive-in film concert

Metallica’s first show of 2020 will be shown at drive-in and outdoor theaters throughout the United States and Canada as part of the Encore Drive-In Nights series. (Courtesy of Ross Halfin)

Metallica returns to Albuquerque, only this time on the big screen.

The metal icons recently filmed a show for their fans as part of the Encore Drive-In Nights series. The concert will be shown on Saturday, Aug. 29, at hundreds of drive-in and outdoor theaters across the United States and Canada.

The location where the show was filmed is “top secret” and will be revealed at the show.

“You have to come out to the show to find out,” said Walter Kinzie, CEO of Encore Live. “But I will tell you I was at the filming and this is unlike anything that Metallica has ever done before. This is going to be really cool, and I promise you they’ll have a couple hundred thousand fans come out to this thing, and I promise you not one person would guess ahead of time where they did this. It’s going to be a really spectacular evening, and I think the fans will appreciate how hard Metallica worked to create something unique and special for their fans.”

This is Metallica’s first concert of 2020. The band has not performed on stage since September 2019, when its S&M2 concerts opened Chase Center in San Francisco. Each ticket purchase will include four digital downloads of Metallica’s “S&M2.” The album documents the two historic concerts that reunited Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony for the first time in 20 years.

“This is their first concert in a year and the first time in 2020 that the band has gotten together to play,” Kinzie said. “And you could tell the sheer excitement and energy in the room for those four guys to just be able to play together and particularly at a time when if it wasn’t for the concept that we put together there was no hope of them getting together to play at all this year. So you could tell they were proud to be a part of it. They didn’t take the experience lightly. They did a really good job and the energy is just there.”

Not being able to have a live audience to perform for did not alter the powerful performance Metallica is known for.

“I would say as a result of it being uncertain of when they were going to be able to play together again and knowing how long it’s been since they played together they brought the energy for no other reason than they were just having a blast,” Kinzie said. “Four guys on the stage doing what they do, doing what they love, and being able to be together, it was a magical evening.”

The Aug. 29 show will also feature a special guest performance by Three Days Grace.

“I think what everybody’s got to remember is the largest stadium in the world seats 120,000 people, and so for a one-night concert to be able to play in front of potentially 500,000 people it will be the biggest concert either of these bands have ever played,” Kinzie said. “Three Days Grace was an invitation from (Metallica vocalist and rhythm guitarist) James Hetfield. He’s the one that invited them to come out and be a part of it. Their show is absolutely incredible as well. They did a remarkable job. They had a short amount of time to do it, but they did it, and it’s incredible, and so just the overall energy and excitement that the fans are going to be able enjoy on (Aug. 29) is going to be an incredible evening.”

Audio for the concert film will be done through FM radio in attendees’ vehicles.

“What people don’t realize is that is a far clearer version of audio than the normal stacks and racks that you would see at a show,” Kinzie said. “And so the audio will be crystal clear. It was all produced in HD stereo format so it will be an absolute perfect combo for your FM station in your truck and your car and just crank it up and get ready and I’ll tell you that’s part of the magic of that evening is when you’re in there with a couple hundred cars and everyone has got their radios cranked up and it’s all to the same station it creates this real magical kind of atmosphere that’s a hell of a lot of fun and super rowdy.”

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