Metallica are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their S&M symphonic album this year, with two special shows with the San Francisco Symphony scheduled for Sept. 5 at 6 at the Chase Center and the actual album anniversary scheduled to take place Nov. 23. But we're also in the midst of two more key dates, with the actual shows that served as the source material taking place 20 years ago yesterday and today (April 21 and 22). To commemorate the occasion, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has posted a tribute to late conductor Michael Kamen, who spearheaded the project.

Kamen led the San Francisco Symphony during the '99 show, but he would die from a heart attack just four years later in 2003 at the age of 55. In addition to Metallica, he had worked in film scoring and had performed with musicians such as Bryan Adams, David Gilmour, Kate Bush and more.

Reflecting on Kamen, Ulrich offered a photo on Instagram taken by acclaimed photographer/director Anton Corbijn. His commentary on Kamen and the actual shows can be read below:

Today is the 20th anniversary of the very first concert ‘Tallica played with the @SFSymphony under the direction of Michael Kamen.
The shows took place at the Berkeley Community Theatre April 21 & 22, 1999. At the time, the gigs weren’t even called S&M yet...that came six months later when the live album and movie was released.
I’m pictured here with the conductor, the arranger, the main instigator and the reason the whole thing came to be, Michael Kamen, who had reached out a few years earlier to see if we were game to try this kinda collaboration out.
Michael had a background in film scores, including Lethal Weapon and Die Hard, and had previously done similar undertakings with Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton and Aerosmith among others. He thought that we would be an obvious choice for a pairing like this and we said yes in 2 nano seconds flat and followed Michael’s lead for the next few years, as we went on an incredible adventure together with concerts in SF, Berlin and NYC among other things. We threw ourselves deep into unknown creative territories and walked away with most incredible of experiences and the coolest album and concert film.
Michael passed on in November 2003, but his love of life and his appetite for shaking up conventions will always be something I’ll take with me and cherish..
A very precious few years.
And of course looking forward to the continuation of this, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this whole endeavor with our two very unique concerts in September opening the @Chase_Center.
Fuck yeah I wanna!!!

Metallica initially announced plans to be the opening act at San Francisco's Chase Center in September, playing the rare symphonic show with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. However, after a number of fans were upset by ticketing bots snatching up a significant number of tickets, the band attempted to make good by playing a second Chase Center date with a revised plan of getting tickets to their fans.

The group will be playing more traditional concerts through the remainder of the year. See all of their scheduled tour stops here.

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