S&M2 is a live concert film from Metallica & The San Francisco Symphony originally released in theaters in October 2019. Considered the concert event of that year, the film has been transferred to DVD and Blu-ray for home theater viewing. The concert features 20 songs, a rockin’ 2.5 plus hours of music, culled from the two-night event that opened San Francisco’s new Chase Center and features many Metallica fan favorites and 2 unique classical songs chosen by San Francisco Symphony Musical Director Michael Tilson Thomas. This 2020 home theater release is newly re-edited by the band and re-mixed by Greg Fidelman with remastered audio by Bob Ludwig for a whole new look and sound from the original theatrical run.
Rhino has created a myriad of editions to choose from, including a four half mastered LP, 2 CD, and 1 Blu-ray Deluxe Edition suited for deep pocketed fans, a 2CD + 1 Blu-ray set or 2 CD + 1 DVD set, along with a choice of a stand-alone Blu-ray or DVD edition are available for the rest of us. Unfortunately, without a copy on hand, I am unable to confirm that the Blu-ray contains DTS HD Master Audio as noted elsewhere online, along with any other audio codecs used on the Blu-ray and DVD.
Furthermore, unfortunately surround enthusiasts have posted that they have found this mix to be a bit disappointing. One writer noted that while the orchestra strings extend into the back speakers along with audience noise, the surround mix lacks dynamics. In a pop rock style of mixing the kick drum and bass guitar come across very predominantly while the guitars are set back and merge into the orchestra. The filming is excellent, and one may end up preferring the stereo mix where guitars stand out a bit more.
Released July 15, 2020
Stand-alone Blu-ray or DVD with surround mix, also available in CD + BD or DVD Deluxe Edition and in a 4 half speed mastered LP, 2 CD and Blu-ray Super Deluxe box set. Also available on Vinyl.
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.