Riding high on their fifth #1 selling album Immortalized, the Chicago-based metal band Disturbed returned to Atlanta’s Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood on Friday, March 6 and unleashed hell. Already a powerful live act, Disturbed brought along the full-blown ‘big rock show” package of staging to match the volume and intensity of their music. Let’s put it this way: there was enough fire on stage to make any local fire chief nervous.
“Ten Thousand Fists” was an appropriate opener as the Atlanta faithful greeted the band with fists raised. Trench-coated lead singer David Draiman’s vocals stood out in the mix, punctuated with his trademark, staccato delivery. The band’s great new song “The Vengeful One” got the fist pumping in unison, and the chorus of “I’m the hand of God, I’m the dark messiah…” is still ringing in my memory.
Legacy radio hits like “Prayer,” “Liberate” and “Stupify” followed, punctuated by a huge stage full of high-intensity flash lighting, strobes, flash-pots, a hydraulic lighting rig, flamethrowers and what I can only describe as bags of fire hanging from the rafters.
Disturbed is a band that, in its history, has covered songs by artists they admire and have typically done a good job in making their version of the song unique. They have covered “Land of Confusion” by Genesis, “Shout” by Tears for Fears and on Immortalized, the band covered Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “The Sound Of Silence” and did an excellent job on record (and live) of making the song their own. Even Paul Simon himself complimented the band on their Conan (Obrien) appearance. The live version of “The Sound of Silence” was really beautiful, accompanied by strings on a candle-lit stage and amongst a sea of lighters and cell phone lights in the the crowd, which is why I’m having trouble figuring out their next move.
Two songs after their S.O.S. performance, the band played a curious medley of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” and Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of…” My main question would be “why?” If this is a Disturbed show, then I want to hear Disturbed. The covers themselves were lackluster, the medley seemed to drag on and the band didn’t do anything new or interesting with the songs, arrangements or instrumentation to make them special, as they did with “Sounds of Silence.” I would rather have heard three more Disturbed songs to be honest.
Still, the band marched on and brought the night to a slamming close with their first big hit and now signature song, “Down With The Sickness.”
1. 10,000 Fists
2. The Game
3. The Vengeful One
7. The Sound of Silence
8. Inside The Fire
9. The Light
10. Medley (NIN, U2, The Who, Rage Against The Machine)
13. Down With The Sickness