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Disturbed brings heavy rock and 'Silence' to Burgettstown
DisturbedDisturbedDisturbed played First Niagara Pavilion with Breaking Benjamin on Tuesday.
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 1:00 pm
By Scott Tady Calkins Media | 0 comments
BURGETTSTOWN – “Ten Thousand Fists” started things.
The First Niagara Pavilion crowd Tuesday actually numbered closer to 12,000, most of whom did hold their fists in the air as metal band Disturbed launched an impressive headlining performance with that 2005 song.
Disturbed blew through its hour-long set without much banter from frontman David Draiman. His vocal growl commanded attention as the band let its music do the talking, and sounded solid with a hard-pounding but clean and uncluttered force that let the hooks sink in.
“Liberate” and “Stupify” hit hard but bassist John Moyer and guitarist Dan Donegan left space to keep the notes interesting.
Next came “The Sound of Silence,” the band's dramatic Simon & Garfunkel cover that almost single-handedly restored Disturbed's relevance last year. Heeding Draiman's suggestion, fans whipped out their lit-up smartphones and held them high.
I expected more of an audience sing-along on “Sound of Silence.” A bunch of bros in my section talked loudly during the first verse.
A muscle-bound guy in one of the VIP boxes held aloft a middle finger and mouthed words about hating that song.
Though the vast majority of fans stood riveted by Draiman's deep and moving voice and the band's slow and powerful interpretation.
It sounded remarkable; even more so than the recorded version – arguably the fourth-best Simon & Garfunkel cover ever behind the Bangles (“Hazy Shade of Winter”), The Lemonheads (“Mrs. Robinson”) and Yes (“America”). Granted, The Times' political writer J.D. Prose compares Draiman's singing to the Crash Test Dummies of “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” fame.
Disturbed kept the action rolling with “The Light” and “Inside The Fire.”
There was fire all over the stage, with those now fashionable cannons that shoot flames at criss-crossing angles. At one point, ropes dangling from the ceiling were lit ablaze for a cool and creepy effect.
As the song says, Disturbed fans will remember the night they were struck by the sight of 10,000 fists in the air.
The crowd also went wild for co-headliner Breaking Benjamin. With an extra guitar, the Wilkes-Barre band had a moodier, more dense sound. Frontman Benjamin Burnley came across as sincere, hard working and likeable. His vocals were fairly discernible above the din. Bassist Aaron Bruch added some screamo vocal elements on a few songs.
Breaking Benjamin's standouts included set opener “So Cold,” the slower “Ashes of Eden,” and “I Will Not Bow,” which Burnley dedicated to military members and those who keep our streets and homes safe.
Burnley brandished a red light saber at the start of a medley that served up Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Saint Asonia started the metal onslaught. Saying he was tired of hearing karaoke versions of songs he'd written, singer Adam Gontier belted out “I Hate Everything About You,” the 2003 hit by his ex-band Three Days Grace.
I could have used more of the night's third-billed band, Alter Bridge, led by the potent tandem of Myles Kennedy (the singer for Slash's band The Conspirators) and lead guitarist Mark Tremonti (also known for his work with Creed).
Scott can be reached at email@example.com.