By Alma Reed
Nashville gets down with the sickness. Disturbed brings the biomedical nanoparticles.
Big name arena rock arrives at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Disturbed is touring on their recent album Evolution that was released last October.
No more appropriate band to open the show than Three Days Grace. Heavy, hard-hitting and immediately recognizable, they get heads banging and fists pumping playing tunes off their new album as well as the hits we know and love like “I Hate Everything About You”, “Pain”, “Riot” and “Animal I Have Become”.
I’m pretty sure it was Nobel Prize winning physicist Werner Heisenberg who theorized the excitement level of metal fans is inversely proportional to the number of floor ticket holders that visit the concessions between acts [citation missing]. I can’t prove it numerically, but it certainly appeared that few were willing to surrender their up-close standing-room-only space to get a $14 Bud Light before the main event.
The lights dim and the audience erupts. A video montage plays on a massive video screen overlooking a deep-cut diamond shaped stage. The band plays as the barrel chested vocalist Dave Draiman marches front and centre to an billowing sea of pumping fists. The moment of reckoning has arrived!
The production content of the show is amazing. If it’s possible to have too many pyrotechnics at a metal show, then Disturbed approaches the limit. Videos and real-time show footage play on an oversized screen so large it had to be partially folded to fit along the breadth of Bridgestone Arena. Of course lights and lasers. Also quite remarkable is the well oiled road crew which moves with military precision throughout the event.
Part concert and part public service announcement, Disturbed use their platform to raise awareness of important social issues. Draiman acknowledges the role media and politicians play in dividing the population. He reminds us of the uniting power of music, urging everyone to cast aside their political/religious/whatever differences and coexist harmoniously as members of the Disturbed family. Yeah!
Later the subjects of depression, addiction and suicide are addressed. Another video montage plays on the enormous screen, this time with footage of high profile entertainers we’ve lost to these afflictions. It’s a touching moment and we’re all reminded of the need to take care of one another.
And finally an homage to the many and devoted Disturbed fans. Draiman reads a very personal fan letter out loud to an audience of thousands revealing the intimate details of one of life’s rough patches and how Disturbed’s music pulled her through. The identity of the mystery fan is then revealed as she is brought onstage for one song. Those more bashful would have been mortified, but I guess the whole point is to promote trust and acceptance in an environment of non-judgement. I for one am glad my Disturbed fan mail is still in my Drafts folder.
One final note… Dave Draiman spits… A LOT. It looks metal af, but you can’t help be concerned for the performers and crew running and jumping on stage. You hope someone places a folding yellow Caution - Wet Floor sign to ensure everyone’s safety, but it never happens.