Prepare to mosh – Metallica concert on tap at drive-in
Metalheads take note: Metallica is coming to Newberg.
Well, sort of.
The pre-eminent metal band of our time will perform via recorded concerts set to air Saturday, Aug. 29, at 99W Drive-In in Newberg and more than 250 other theaters across the country. Tickets, which go on sale Friday, Aug. 14, at Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com/encore-metallica), are $115 for a carload of six people. Pre-sale tickets were available Aug. 12 to the band's Fifth Member fan club.
Basically, 99W Drive-In owner Brian Francis said, Encore Live is renting out his venue to put on the show. The ultra-famous rock band, which has sold nearly 120 million albums since its debut in 1981, represents the third musical act to "play" in Newberg this summer. Concert movies featuring Garth Brooks and Blake Sheldon also premiered at the theater, one of three remaining drive-ins in Oregon, in July. Crowds topped 500,000 attendees nationwide.
"I wish I had done a second show for Garth Brooks," because the first sold out, Francis said.
This will not be your typical drive-in event, he added. Because tickets are sold online in advance, the box office will serve only as a venue for Encore representatives to scan the tickets. Francis will help in the snack bar, which will follow all state guidelines as to social distancing, requiring masks and limiting how many people may enter the building at one time. The drive-in's COVID-19 guidelines are available on its Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.
"I like not losing my voice selling tickets, and getting a check in the mail," Francis commented on the unusual format for the event.
Francis will also be showing the concert via the theater's state-of-the-art digital projector, using a drive delivered to him from Encore. As per usual, the audio portion of the movie will be broadcast on an FM radio signal, although for this showing Francis said he will also add some speakers atop the theater's buildings for people who don't have a radio in their vehicle.
The local drive-in's capacity under COVID-19 restrictions is 190 to 200 cars, Francis said, while capacity during normal times is 340 cars.
"Losing that half of the sandwich is the profit," Francis said.
The concert, the first in Encore's Drive-In Nights Series, will also appear at Oregon's two other remaining drive-ins in Milton-Freewater and La Grande, as well as at venues across the United States and Canada. Every ticket purchase includes four digital downloads of the band's latest album, "S&M2," which documents the band's two concerts with the San Francisco Symphony for the first time in 20 years.
The concert, featuring the first rock band in the Encores series, represents the first time the band has performed since September 2019 in San Francisco. It was recorded at an undisclosed location near the band's northern California headquarters. The Canadian rock band Three Days Grace will open the show.
"In all of rock, it literally doesn't get any bigger than Metallica," said Walter Kinzie, CEO of Encore Live. "Over the course of their career these guys have completely redefined rock, touring and frankly what's possible in terms of success in this industry. We've seen with our first two Encore Nights Drive-In concerts that fans absolutely dig the drive-in experience and we know that Metallica is going to blow the top off this thing and take it to a whole new level."
Francis, who said he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement stating he wouldn't tell people in advance that the Metallica concert was coming to Newberg, added that the format for the event well fits the venue.
"This is something that was made for drive-in people," he said.
The gate to the theater will open at 6 p.m. Aug. 29 for the first showing of the movie, which begins at 8 p.m. The second show is set for about 12:30 a.m., Francis said, and the box office will open for that show at 10:30 p.m. to scan tickets.
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