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Disturbed

w/ Behind Crimson Eyes, Alterbridge


It was while I was in a nice, long admission line outside of Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, on Sunday 31st August, that the rain began to pour. However, I budged not an inch. Disturbed were about to play, and the sold-out show promised to be a set worth a little discomfort.

  

Thebarton Theatre is an interesting sort of place. The main hall is frequently used in festivals of arts, and its walls and ceiling are covered with elaborate sculptures and designs. However, it is also the venue of choice for most metal and hard-rock acts, even over the larger Entertainment Centre. Either way, the acoustics are great, the lighting rigs are beautiful, and smoke machines can happily fill the hall with a delicious mystifying effect. Add in a capacity crowd, beats that make them bounce, and a shortage of air conditioning, and you've got yourself a good deal.

  

The first support slot was Behind Crimson Eyes, an Aussie 5-piece out of Melbourne. They've had a huge amount of exposure over the last few years, even opening for Iron Maiden when the giants came to Australia, and they handled the pressure of the Disturbed crowd well. B.C.E. played their altered hardcore with great enthusiasm, and quite a few video cameras sprung up to watch their movements. Their final song, Heartbreaker, was received very well by the eager fans.

  

The major support slot, Alterbridge, was on next. An American 4-piece metal band, they let loose with some awesome high-energy tracks and a string of ripping guitar solos the like of which you rarely see. The singer had no trouble controlling the crowd, promptly getting the hands of the front dozen rows waving in synch to one of their slower songs, Rise Today. An interesting effect was that they always had the singer in a spotlight, while the rest of the band melded into darkness; sort of the opposite of the Tool effect. Their last song also generated some thunderous applause, and they walked offstage with fists in the air.

  

Finally Disturbed themselves came onstage, with singer David Draiman being wheeled on in a straight-jacket, Hannibal Lector-style, to the opening bars of Perfect Insanity. After a powerful rendition of the song, singer David fired up the crowd with some greetings and imparted expectations – "I WANNA SEE THOSE FISTS IN THE AIR, ADELAIDE!!" – before launching into Liberate. From there the gig just gained in strength. The majority of the tracks played came from the new Indestructible album, but at least a couple were played from each from Disturbed's 3 other masterpieces. The biggest responses were to Voices, Stupified and Inside the Fire- as the lighting and smoke flared around the band like a demon's halo, it did indeed seem as if ten thousand fists were in the air. David's repeated efforts to fire the crowd were met with mixed results, to the singer's obvious frustration, but when the band walked off for the encore, the sheer volume of the ensuing chanting and stamping brought them back on well-satisfied, with David even pronouncing, "I see the rumours about Adelaide were true." The set ended in a searing performance of The Sickness, the track that made the band.

  

A powerful gig from a massive metal band in a sold-out venue. What more can I say?

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