Metallica and Janet Jackson Headline Dreamfest/UCSF Hospital Benefit

in Music News by

Imagine hosting one of the most extravagant parties in the middle of downtown San Francisco for thousands of your closest friends, with an unlimited budget, and full cooperation from the city to help you pull it off. Well, that is exactly what Marc Benioff succeeded in doing last night for all of his Dreamforce attendees smack in the middle of the city.

The moment you entered the reception hall inside Civic Center you knew that you’d be in for a treat. From the walls of the city office, which were adorned with vibrant lighting to the beautiful digital displays on its walls, to the flamenco inspired trio that serenaded attendees as they maneuvered around the space — it was simply superb.

The catering throughout the event was top notch and offered a variety of flavorful offerings. With complimentary elixirs to boot it was hard to leave unsatisfied. But it wasn’t until you headed into the outdoors area that you got a sense of the magnitude of this event.

The Civic Center Plaza was turned upside down to fit a massive stage for Metallica, the headliner for the evening. Giant strobes and spotlights mimicking a blockbuster movie opening were set up strategically on its perimeter.

Janet Jackson showed up first to open the musical portion of the evening at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Sporting what’s becoming her trademark outfit for this current tour she performed a few medleys handpicked from her classic catalog. Songs like “Nasty,” “Miss You Much,” “What Have you done for me lately,” and “The Pleasure Principle,” had collared shirts and black ties bouncing up and down the entire night.

But it all served as a warm-up for the evening’s main act. When Metallica hit the stage the entire outdoors area was filled to capacity. After their now infamous intro of “The Good the Bad and The Ugly,” the boys in black started things off strongly with “Hardwired.” “Creeping Death” and “Seek and Destroy” served to cover all their classics on the menu. But it wasn’t until the encore that they pulled out their two biggest heavyweights: “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman.”

Salesforce really went all out to close this year’s conference on a high note. The enthusiasm was felt throughout the grounds of the Civic Center Plaza. From the opening reception to the iconic performances followed by the after-party, this had to be the corporate party to beat in 2018. Now, let’s see what Oracle has in store.

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An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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