In This Moment
Moda Center – Aug 3, 2019
“This is where my people are — metal heads and rockers! This is where I feel at home. Nearly everyone is wearing their favorite band shirt in black; It’s a sea of black. People just seem to be happy. Whenever I’m at non rock/metal shows, I tend to feel a bit anxious, mostly because of the unexpected…but it is here, at a rock show, where I am most relaxed.”
Upon arrival I decided to take a lap around the Moda Center concourse just to savor the feeling of community a bit longer. I eventually found my seat and looked out at the crowd on the floor. I saw many familiar faces and waved happily when our eyes met. I briefly chatted with the people sitting around me about whether we have seen the artists before, reminiscing about the concerts we have been to recently. The pre-show music was perfect to get us pumped: Static-X, Limpbizkit, Heart, Hendrix, and Pantera. I loved looking around as people nodded to the beat and sang along to the songs. Even the Moda Center staff and ushers couldn’t help but to show signs of enjoyment.
As I looked to the stage, I realized it was set up very differently. It is a little hard to describe but basically it was like a catwalk on steroids, with levels of the stage that jetted out towards the audience. The stage was decorated like a graveyard (possibly, that was my interpretation anyway) with a mausoleum as the center piece and two smaller ones flanking it. The color scheme and theatrics of it reminded me a bit of the Judas Priest show. The lights dimmed, the band arrives on the stage, Maria’s dancers appear, and then Maria graces the stage from the main mausoleum, completely draped in a white sheet and a crown atop her head. She sang this beautiful yet eerie cover of “Fly Like an Eagle,” originally by the Steve Miller Band. Even though I knew the words, I dare not sing along because I am captivated by the dark rendition. In This Moment’s set was great, but too short.
Maria Brink moves and sings with ease, alternating between to her iconic screams and clean singing. The set included top hits such as “Blood” and “Whore.” This was my fourth time seeing In This Moment and the show was different than the last few times. Maria is a solid performer with beautiful theatrics and stage props. My only criticism was the length. There should have been more songs.
In This Moment’s set included:
- Fly Like an Eagle (Steve Miller band cover)
- River of Fire
- Big Bad Wolf
The stage was stripped down and all that was left was the drum set in the middle of the stage. It looked so empty but soon became filled with energy and passion by David Draiman. The lights dimmed once again, and the big screens behind the stage projected Disturbed’s intro video. It displayed clips of the journey the band has had, the arenas and festivals they have played. Every so often it highlighted a message that flashed on the screen: “When music is the weapon, we are indestructible. / When music is the weapon, a world army unites. / When music is the weapon, every fist has a voice. / When music is the weapon, we must evolve.”
Disturbed walked onto the stage and the crowd screamed as they began “Are You Ready?” and “Prayer.” Singer David Draiman took a moment to address the crowd, mentioning how there is hate in this world and that there are people “on both sides of the political fence who would choose to benefit to keep us afraid of each other. Well not here, not tonight. Tonight, it does not matter what you believe, what you don’t believe, how much money you may or may not have, what side of the political fence you lean, what color your skin is and honestly none of us here give a fuck what your sexuality is.” Draiman mentioned that this is why we are all here, to escape the poison of the outside, to be here and enjoy two hours or so of music, to sing along and look around and see that the people around you are also singing.
To me, he hit the nail on the head; this was our chance to escape, to not think of the stresses we endure day to day, and to just be in this moment (did you catch what I did there)? enjoying the music.
Once they began to play the 2000 hit “Stupify” everyone jumped up and down, singing along to every word. Also, as popular with this crowd was, they played their cover of Genesis’s “Land of Confusion.” It was here that everyone put their fist in the air at the key moments in the song.
Each member had a moment to shine with a solo, which I thought was awesome. First it was Dan Donegan’s guitar solo. Then John Moyer did an amazing bass solo. Finally, Mike Wengren pummeled the drums. The big screen behind played a slide show of a scrapbook of the members of Disturbed; pictures with family and some of their famous friends. Some of the pictures included Dimebag Darrel of Pantera and Damageplan, Jonathan Davis of KoRn, Sully of Godsmack, and really…too many more to mention. This display and walk down memory lane coincided with the song “Memories.”
Then, something I’ve never seen before happened: Disturbed took a moment to address an issue that seemed very important to them. A video played, it is just the words a recording of Draiman reading. He mentions that there is a silent disease that effects some people and that is addiction and depression. He mentioned how everyone that has come across Disturbed’s path or have come to one of their shows is considered family. “My brothers, my sisters, my blood,” he opined just before he asked for a moment of silence for those we’ve lost. Then a video of Draiman appeared urging that if you or someone you know is in crisis to please call the appropriate hotlines. Since Disturbed took a moment to mention this in their show, I will as well in my review.
National Addiction Hotline: 1-800-662-4357
National suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255
“With the strength and support of our entire family we can make a difference to help them fight this war. We must continue to be their allies, their hope, their added source of strength. We must continue to give all of them a reason to fight.”
The phone numbers remained for a while. Then, with acoustic guitars and the bass they played a version of their 2018 song “Reason to Fight.” David mentioned how each member on stage has in some way been affected by addiction and depression. He asked the audience to raise their hand if they also had either themselves or someone they know been affected by addiction or depression…close to everyone raised their hand. He then told us to “look around, you are not alone.” He continued to mention the list of artists who have left us too early due to addiction or depression: Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Scott Weiland, Wayne Static, Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams. “This list keeps getting longer and we are all tired of it.” David encouraged the crowd to agree to be there for one another and the stadium erupted with cheers for the relevant message. The people around me shouted “thank you” to the band. It was so emotional and heartwarming. The way David Draiman used his success as a platform to actually help with something we are all affected by was not only responsible, but it was endearing. Surprisingly, the acoustic instruments now had additional instruments…. violins, a piano, and big drums, they did their rendition of “Sound of Silence.” It was powerful and beautifully done.
After such a moving set, Disturbed brought energy back up with “Indestructible” from 2008’s album with the same name, and the crowd showed its spirit again. The mini circle pits became larger than ever. From the same album, the epic “Inside the Fire” began and I again see something I’ve never seen at a show before. Just at the key moment in the song, stands that are on the perimeter of the stage catch fire and the boxes that were on the light high rises drop down ropes that were also on fire! I sort of jumped and gasped a little when it happened. It was awesome. I mean hot… I mean…I never would have guessed that intense fire show was going to happen. Disturbed ended their set with possibly their biggest hit “Down with The Sickness.”
The show exceeded my expectations for sure. It started off with a band that had the theatrics and ended with a band with a simple stage and a powerful message. Both In This Moment and Disturbed were genuine, are amazing at their craft, and really know how to put on a great show.
I’ll be catching them again next time around for sure.
Disturbed set list included:
- 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
- Inside the Fire
- Encore – The Sound of Silence
- Encore – The Light
- Encore – Stricken
- Encore – Down with The Sickness