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COVID Concert: Metallica To Record Socially Distant Show For Drive-In Movie Theaters

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Heavy metal music is head banging its way to the drive-in, with rock gods Metallica joining Dallas-Fort Worth-based event production company Encore Live's concert series.

"People can be safe in these COVID times... you know, head bang in their cars like in 'Wayne's World,' " lead sing James Hetfield said on the  Howard Stern show.

It's the band's first show in 2020, and their first concert in nearly a year.

Like virtually every other touring act, Metallica were forced to cancel and postpone their 2020 live shows due to COVID-19. But the band's schedule still includes the release of their S&M2 project, which documents their two dates last year with the San Francisco Symphony. The set is out Aug. 28 in multiple formats, including a deluxe box set that features vinyl, CD and Blu-Ray, among other extras.

The day after it comes out, Metallica will play a full set showing August 29 at hundreds of drive-in and outdoor theaters across the United States and Canada. They will shoot the concert near the band's Northern California headquarters. After that, editors and producers will mix it up to create a one-of-a-kind show for fans.

With most indoor theaters shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19, the cultural relic from the 20th century is poised for a major comeback in the era of social distancing.

Drive-in theaters, which combined America's passion for automobiles and movies, peaked in popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s. Many closed down as more people chose to watch movies indoors or at home.

More than 40,000 movie theater screens nationwide are now dark and Americans sheltering in place are turning to drive-ins for much-needed out-of-the-house entertainment.

There were 305 drive-in theaters with a total of 549 screens throughout the United States as of October, according to the United Drive-in Theater Owner Association.

Pre-sale tickets for the showl go on sale on August 12 exclusively for Metallica's Fifth Member fan club and general on-sale will begin on August 14. Every ticket purchase will also include four digital downloads of Metallica's long-awaited S&M2 album.

So far, Encore Live has drawn more than half a million fans to its first two drive-in concerts, according to the company.

James Hetfield of Metallica performs on stage during a concert at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna, Austria on August 16, 2019. (Photo by GEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP via Getty Images)



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