Metallica host their first ever Orion Music + More festival at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey this weekend. The festival will see the metal legends and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers play different sets Saturday and Sunday. A diverse group of artists are also on the bill, and there’s some pretty rocking non-musical attractions as well.
As would be expected, lots of metal bands will be there, including hardcore legends Suicidal Tendencies and Brazilian thrashers Sepultura. But the lineup also includes alternative rock acts Cage The Elephant and Arctic Monkeys, up-and-coming bluesman Gary Clark Jr. (who turned heads earlier this year when he performed at The White House, along with B.B. King and Mick Jagger), psychedelic rock icon Roky Erikson (from the 13th Floor Elevators), country singer Eric Church (who had a hit with his song “Springsteen”), NJ punk bands Gaslight Anthem and Titus Andronicus, indie-pop band Best Coast and metal-friendly comedians Jim Breuer, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson (the latter two are co-hosts on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show).
It’s not just about the music (or comedy): there’s several other attractions at Orion. Metallica frontman James Hetfield shows off his passion for muscle cars at “The Custom Car and Motorcycle Show,” which will put 100 machines from 1972 and earlier on display.
“Kirk’s Crypt” will display guitarist Kirk Hammett’s collection of horror film memorabilia. Hammett himself will also host panel discussions each day about his obsession with horror films, and Exorcist star Linda Blair will be on hand to answer fan questions in exclusive Q+A sessions each day.
Drummer Lars Ulrich is curating the “Hit The Lights Film Festival,” featuring a number of films with connections to Ulrich or Metallica, including HBO’s Hemingway And Gellhorn (which Ulrich co-starred in), Blue Valentine (directed by Metallica fan Derek Cianfrance) and Before The Wall: Body & Being, co-directed by Lars’ dad, Tobin Ulrich.
Bassist Robert Trujilio is curating the “Motorbreath Mini Ramp” skateboarding expo, and also the “Seek And Destroy Atlantic City Air Assault” surfing competition.
As for Metallica themselves, they will be performing a classic album in full each night. On Saturday they’re playing their second LP, 1984’s Ride The Lightning (which features “Fade To Black,” “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and “Creeping Death”) from start to finish. On Sunday they’ll play 1991’s self titled record (known as “The Black Album,” which contains “Enter Sandman,” “Sad But True,” “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters”) in reverse order.
It’s the only time this year that the band will perform those particular albums. Tickets for the festival are still available. Go to the Orion Festival website for more info on the event and to purchase tickets.
Brian Ives, CBS Local