Photo credit:  Travis Shinn

Concert review

Holmdel, NJ

PNC Bank Arts Center

July 31, 2016

Talk about spot on performances, David Draiman and his mates in DISTURBED are the epitome of true to the record live performances.
My first time seeing Disturbed live finally happened this past Sunday in Holmdel, NJ as they tour the nation this Summer co-headlining with Breaking Benjamin.  Saint Asonia and Alter Bridge are providing support on this tour.

This tour is tremendous, with so much damn good rock music, but the night belonged to DISTURBED.  After a four year hiatus, the band smashed the charts with their fifth consecutive album to debut #1 on Billboard's Top 200 chart.  "Immortalized" is being well represented during this tour and fans are singing along with songs from this new album just as hard as they are with the DISTURBED classics.

Once the lights went dark, a clip from the 2010 DVD video "Decade of Disturbed" played on the house screens, firing up the fans with the images of Draiman pumping up crowds across the globe.  When the band took to the stage they opened the night's set with "Ten Thousand Fists", the anthemic hit from the band's 2005 album of the same name.  Immediately it was evident that there no voice modification or enhancement is used when Draiman records.  His powerful vocals are as strong live as they are on the records and it's not only the power but the tone and intensity too that makes the recorded versions explode live.

"The Vengeful One" was the first single released from "Immortalized" and to hear this song live was killer!  Such strength by the singer and by the musicians.  The song is large and in your face but musically simplistic and stern.  "The Vengeful One" went over just as big as "Stupify", the smash hit from the band's 2000 debut album "The Sickness".  Of course no DISTURBED concert would be complete without "Indestructible" and the band played this classic late in the set continuing a night of masterful performances.

Perhaps one of the most masterful was the current stand out from "Immortalized", the poignant re-envisioning of the Simon and Garfunkel hit "Sound of Silence".  Draiman blew it out of the water with this performance, every note spot on and sung with true spirit and emotion.  Truly phenomenal when combined with live kettle drums and strings.  Literally gave me goosebumps as did "The Light" when Draiman asked the crowd to flash their lighters and cell phone flashlights every time he sang the words "The Light".  

DISTURBED's Holmdel fans helped celebrate the birthday of guitarist Dan Donegan as Draiman led the crowd through a Jersey rendition of "Happy Birthday".  The fans left the PNC Bank Arts Center for the night after singing in unison to the last song of the night, "Down With the Sickness".

 What's really impressed me with this concert was that DISTURBED played just as many songs (4) from their debut album as they did from their current album.  A span of 16 years and the songs from that first incredible album still play just as well live as the current list of great tunes.

Ten Thousand Fists
The Game
The Vengeful One
Open Your Eyes
Sound of Silence
Inside the Fire
The Light
Down With The Sickness

Disturbed is  David Draiman (vocals), Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums), and John Moyer (bass)