This was an event that was long overdue! Disturbed made their triumphant return with 2015’s Immortalized, and anticipation was high for a new tour. However, the album cycle came and went without their own set of UK headlining shows. Sure, they supported Avenged Sevenfold, and both bands put on excellent performances, but it was not the full set that we’d all hoped for. Fast forward to the Evolution album cycle, and our prayers have been answered, Disturbed have embarked on their first UK tour since December 2010. I was fortunate enough to attend their London show at Alexandra Palace.
First off, the venue was more beautiful, and grandiose than I could have ever imagined. Not only was the location pretty stunning, but it was also huge. With the swarms of people, and various stalls scattered around, it felt like a mini-festival. It’s a testament to how much of a crowd the band are able to pull; the event was sold out, and it clearly showed!
To kick-things off for the evening were Skindred, and they instantly kicked everything into high gear. Tracks like “Rat Race” and “That’s My Jam” are always guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers, and the band stuck to their best material for the duration of their set. It was incredibly fun to experience throughout, with some fantastic crowd interaction from frontman Benji Webbe, and the audience more than happily participated when requested to do so. Closer “Warning” was a fantastic note to finish on, and was enough to keep spirits raised high. It was quite surprising to see such a big band in the role of support act, but I have a very strong feeling we won’t see them do so again after this tour. At this point, they’re too high calibre for that.
Finally Disturbed took to the stage, and to cut to the chase, it was mind-blowing from start to finish! They aptly opened with lead single, and first track of their latest record, “Are You Ready” and for the next 2 hours, it was a flurry of absolute belters. It was an excellent mix of tracks too, and covered some of the best songs from across their seven album discography. The only thing that puzzled me, was the fact that they only played four songs off Evolution. Although in all fairness, they did stick to their strongest material, and with such diversity on display, no one really seemed to care. When you’re presented with classics like “Stupify”, “Ten Thousand Fists” and “The Game”, no one is really going to argue. Looking back over the setlist, there’s not really any other songs that I could suggest, and it felt like an almost perfect combination.
To call the atmosphere electrifying would be a massive understatement, as this was probably one of the most lively and active crowds I’d seen at a gig for a very long time. But then, with the band putting on such a stellar performance, it was hard to blame them. The atmosphere was intense, as they projected their powerful sounds throughout the entirety of the venue. Scatterings of pyro and a great light show also helped, but these felt very minimal. The fact that these weren’t really needed only highlights how accomplished Disturbed are as musicians. There were only a couple of quieter moments, one for the always stunning “The Sound of Silence” and another for fantastic newcomer “Hold On to Memories.” The latter was quite emotional too, with frontman David Draiman making a powerful speech on those that were gone before their time.
The show wasn’t without its wholesome moments either! At one point, Draiman invited a couple to the stage, which resulted in a marriage proposal (and, congrats to the happy couple too), as well as a fan who had been bed-ridden for 6 months due to a knee operation gone wrong, but still made every effort to be attend the gig (definitely the MVP!) I didn’t cry… honest. Seriously though, it’s great to see a band show so much support for their fans, and it resulted in some unexpected, heart-warming moments. Draiman himself proved to be as prominent as ever through the entirety of the gig too.
To top off this amazing night, was the massive encore of “The Light” (also involving the crowd shining the lights on their phones, which was visually stunning), “Stricken” and “Down With the Sickness”. The latter has become an inevitable finisher, but it shouldn’t be any other way, as it’s enough to send everyone into a final frenzy. This night was no exception to the rule, and the magnitude of the crowd only made it all the more mighty.
If the Immortalized era was proof that the band still had the spark, then the Evolution cycle is proof that the band are at the top of their game. The quality of this show does everything to solidify that. It’s certainly the best I’d ever seen them, and it made for one hell of a night. After this performance, it absolutely cannot be denied that Disturbed aren’t just a huge name in Metal, but they have all the hallmarks of a festival headliner. This show in particular felt like a defining moment for the band, and at this point, they feel unstoppable!
- Are You Ready
- The Vengeful One
- The Animal
- Land of Confusion
- Ten Thousand Fists
- The Game
- No More
- A Reason to Fight
- Hold On to Memories
- The Sound of Silence
- [Encore] Inside The Fire
- The Light
- Down With the Sickness