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Live in Rockford, Illinois, January, 2011

Review by Gary Hill

Disturbed headlined, and for that reason they played longer than any of the other bands on the bill. Their sound was, in many ways, more aggressive than either Korn or Sevendust (both of whom preceded them).

In fact, in terms of aggressiveness the only band that really matched them was the opener In This Moment. Of course, while that band had vocals that just plain sucked, Disturbed were at the other end of the suckometer, rocking very hard.

Gary Hill
Gary Hill

They opened with the first song from their new album, an instrumental, which created a dramatic entrance. I would equate it to the same type of experience when Judas Priest opens with “The Hellion” and Rob Halford doesn’t hit the stage until that cut ends. It really creates a piece of dramatic, theatrical staging. It works well for Priest and it works well for Disturbed.

Gary Hill
Gary Hill

Besides a longer set, Disturbed’s staging was much more involved. Huge screens on the stage added to the experience. The band is one that has some definite variety to their sound. They also have an understanding, although not shown to the level that Korn displays, of how to use varying levels of loud and soft to create a dramatic contrast. These guys never lose their control of the stage. The show never lags or becomes boring.

Gary Hill
Gary Hill

Considering that I’ve only really heard the new album and a couple of other songs from this group before, it is really a testament to their strength as a live band that the music held up as well as it did. Many times when a listener lacks familiarity with a group’s music, the songs have a tendency to all feel the same. That was never the case with Disturbed. While, I personally enjoyed Korn more (because I have a greater affinity to their sound), I understand why Disturbed belongs in a headlining spot. They are really a great live band.

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Gary Hill
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at
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