Concert Review: Nothing Disturbing About Disturbed
For those who have never attended a Disturbed show, one quickly realizes that the experience is quite different than an ordinary rock show. In fact, it is more of a spiritual experience than church. It would be easy to take the next few paragraphs to talk about how great singer David Draiman‘s voice sounds and the incredible guitar riffs emanating from guitarist Dan Donegan‘s signature Schecter guitar. It should be noted that, throughout the concert, the band and especially Draiman take you on an emotional rollercoaster that not only touches the senses but also draws you into his darkness and danse macabre. Furthermore, he is consistent in his message and talks about his own struggles with addiction and severe depression, bringing to light that everyone has experienced depression in some fashion, whether directly or not. Draiman explores the intensity and volatility of emotions of beings. It was the most life-affirming experience that many in the audience will ever encounter, and Draiman isn’t afraid to be completely candid with those who will listen. There is a tangible difference here; there is a deeper, more meaningful connection between singer and audience.
Disturbed wasted no time, getting the crowd engaged with opening tune “Hey You,” the first track from their latest album, 2022’s Divisive. Played at rapid-fire pace, this tune got the moshes fired up, reaching zenith nearly instantly.
The band rendered a mix of their classic hits, new material, fan-favorites including “Stupify” and “Ten Thousand Fists,” and a few well-recognized covers. What is evident? The solidarity among the band. This is a band that has had their fair share of controversy and yet has remained bonded.
One thing that is clear: Disturbed doesn’t skimp on production. While temperatures have been reaching record highs in South Florida, the band employed plenty of pyro, a level of heat radiated throughout the entire show and well into the first ten rows. The robotics did their work, moving light rigs up and down in sync with the offerings. Take note: that the production is polished, well-orchestrated, far from the band’s humble beginnings.
There were several notable highlights, including that splendid cover of Simon and Garfunkel‘s “Sound Of Silence,” a song that the audience sang in unison with Draiman, with a heavy and super-aggressive flare atop the 1964 classic.
While Draiman’s hard-charging rock style works great on stage, we saw a bit of a softer side of him when he stepped off the stage and into the barricade, giving an unforgettable experience to a little girl who was rocking the front row with her parents, Draiman told the little girl he had been watching her sing many of the band’s songs throughout the night and invited her on stage. A bit shy and full of tears, she refused the offering, and the frontman spoke to her like they were in a room by themselves, despite nearly 20,000 relentless fans listening to every word. Draiman talked about the experience of being a father, how his son was the reason he had not succumbed to suicide earlier this year, and that Disturbed shows are a family affair; while recognizing that profanity is a part of the show, he mentions there are far worse things children experience on a daily level.
Aside from guitarist/keyboardist Dan Donegan, who is in his prime musically, moving about the stage like a man half his age delivering an unabated performance, were longtime bassist John Moyer, who was aggressively immersed picking on his five-stringer, and drummer Mike Wengren, who was relentless, pounding on the kit, keeping the band’s cadence the entire night,
After nearly two hours of chest-pumping beats and guitar riffs, the audience demanded more. Without hesitation, Draiman, Donegan, Moyer, and Wengren took their positions on stage for an unforgettable encore that included the quintessential Disturbed song “Down With The Sickness,” unleashing a familiar rhythmic patriarchal beat, pulling in what was left of the band’s menacing style.
Draiman appears to constantly question the need for a higher power and explained that his journey is no different than those who came to see them perform. This is a man with soul, but he certainly doesn’t take the role of a soldier. Disturbed delivers with effort and consistency; there couldn’t possibly be a single fan who left disappointed. A state of constant or change gave those attending a brief respite from their own struggles, even for just a few hours.
Setlist – Hey You, Stupify, Ten Thousand Fists, Prayer, Are You Ready, Bad Man, A Reason to Fight, Guitar Solo, Land of Confusion (Genesis cover), The Vengeful One, Drum Solo, The Game, The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover), Bass Solo, Indestructible, The Light, Stricken, Encore: Unstoppable, Down With the Sickness, Inside the Fire, Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash song)