Concert Review: Disturbed, March 4, Scotiabank Arena

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While Ricky wrote a post on here earlier this week comparing local heroes Broken Social Scene to late ’90s/early 2000s wrestling crew nWo, I decided I’d do him one better … by reviewing an entire concert where every song basically sounds like a wrestler’s entrance music. That’s right, I went to see Disturbed. Or maybe it was Staind – I sometimes get my rock bands with bald frontmen mixed up. Probably Disturbed. At least I’m certain that it wasn’t Michael Stipe up there anyways … but I digress.

Fun fact (and further digression): Disturbed singer David Draiman’s wife was once actually a WWE diva, so that wrestling analogy actually holds up pretty well.

Before the band took to the stage, the screen behind them was lit up with various slogans beginning with the phrase “when music is the weapon …” and ending with various other pseudo-revolutionary messages to get the crowd amped up, some of which worked better than others. For example, “when music is the weapon, every fist has a voice” didn’t really land for me. A fist with a voice? Are we talking like a Señor Wences kind of deal? Again, I digress.

I may be going off on random tangents in this review, but Draiman had a definite theme in mind with his stage banter as he talked continuously throughout the evening about bringing people together through music. “Television, media, the powers that be, the godforsaken internet … they want you to believe that we are more divided as a people than we have ever been,” said Draiman, adding that he felt that way of thinking was all “utter fucking nonsense” and that when the right song comes on and everyone’s singing along, “we become brothers and sisters.”

While David Draiman in full motivational/inspirational speaker mode was a large part of the evening (the tribute to late Prodigy frontman Keith Flint and ensuing shout out to the importance of recognizing those dealing with mental health and/or addiction issues and doing what you can to help was a somewhat touching moment and a highlight of the evening), much of the show was also taken up with a healthy amount of power ballads, more than expected. Surprisingly Journey-esque power ballads, too. But aside from all that, what else was happening at this big shiny arena rock show? Pyro. So much pyro. Piano pyro, even.

How do you top setting a piano on fire? By bringing a bunch of kids onstage, obviously. Near the end of their set, Draiman brought up a group of young children (whom he referred to as the future of rock music) and their parents to share the stage with them for one song, inviting them to sit on the front of the drum riser for the duration. Surely a pretty good view and a moment to remember for them all, but honestly, I hope those kids were wearing proper ear protection. Because when music is the weapon … you might end up with tinnitus.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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