Monday, April 4, 2016

Disturbed at Irving Plaza

David Draiman
In 1996 in Chicago, Illinois, a two-year-old band called Brawl lost its lead singer and sought a replacement via a classified advertisement in a local music publication. David Draiman answered the advertisement after going to 20 other auditions that month, and both parties found their match. The band was renamed Disturbed and the alternative metal band went on to sell over 12 million records before going on hiatus in 2011. Over the next four years, Draiman, guitarist Dan Donegan, bassist John Moyer, and drummer Mike Wengren worked with other bands. Disturbed then secretly reunited in 2015 and released its sixth album, Immortalized, on August 21, 2015.

For a couple of minutes at Irving Plaza tonight, fans watched a trailer collage of fast-changing video images of Disturbed in concert. The screen then rose and the live band launched into 2005's "Ten Thousand Fists." While many contemporary bands drown the vocalist with guitar riffs, Disturbed recognized that Draiman's thick voice is the band's strongest element and brought it out front and center. Throughout the set, the band empowered its classic-sounding hard rock tunes with crunching nu metal riffs, but Draiman's husky, melodic vocal delivery were the center point of every song. The 17-song set reviewed the past 20 years of Disturbed, and also rallied the fans with a 10-minute medley of covers consisting of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer," U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," the Who's "Baba O'Riley" and Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name," which featured guest vocals from Elias Soriano of opening act Nonpoint. The moshing paused as the band sat on stools for a haunting,  acoustic version of "The Darkness" and the eerily dramatic cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s "The Sound of Silence." In all, Draiman's contrasting deep and soaring vocals succeeded in accentuating penetrating depth and vivid dimension within Disturbed's rocking set. The concert was a fine welcome back to a Disturbed world.

Visit Disturbed at