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Metallica raise the roof on Chase Center opening night

Chase Center, the state-of-the-art new home of the Golden State Warriors, hosted its first official event on Friday night as a crowd of around 16,000 people turned out to watch Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony.

The event followed the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the NBA basketball team’s new 18,064-seat arena. Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony returned to the arena for a second gig last night (Sunday).

Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony teamed up on the Grammy Award-winning S&M album in 1999 and the gigs celebrated the 20th anniversary of the record.

With the Warriors not due to play their first pre-season game at the arena until October 6, Chase Center has pencilled in a number of gigs for the rest of September, with Dave Matthews, Eric Clapton, Bon Iver, Elton John, Chance The Rapper, John Mayer, Mumford & Sons, Janet Jackson and Eric Church all set to perform. Two WWE wrestling events are also scheduled on September 24-25.

Chase Center is located in the Mission Bay neighbourhood of San Francisco. The first gig at the arena went ahead without any issues, with local press even noting that there was no post-gig traffic to contend with as many fans used public transport to make their way home.

Doors officially opened at 6:30pm, with Chase Center’s official website stating that many fans immediately flocked to the merchandise stands. Fans began to head to their seats in the arena bowl at around 7:45pm before the San Francisco Symphony took to the stage at 8:40pm.

Metallica joined the San Francisco Symphony on stage five minutes later and played for an hour and 15 minutes before a half-hour intermission. The gig continued for a further hour with the performance earning a standing ovation from fans.

In his review for the Mercury News, Jim Harrington described Friday’s gig as “nothing short of epic” and one that fans would talk about for decades to come. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich displayed the band’s pride at opening the arena, saying: “There is no place on the planet that Metallica would rather be than right here with you.”

For an in-depth look at how the $1.4bn (£1.13bn/€1.27bn) Chase Center will “bridge the gap” between what defines a sports and entertainment arena, check out our interview with MANICA Architecture, the masterplan designer and lead design architect for the arena and the entire site.

Image: Chase Center