By Joshua Muller
Everyone was down with the sickness on Thursday March 17 when heavy metal band, Disturbed, played at The Observatory in Santa Ana while touring for their new Immortalized album. The sold-out show filled the small venue with fans ready to rock out but before they entered the venue, security guards handed them disposable earplugs and said, “Compliments from Disturbed.” The fans laughed at the generous gift, knowing it will be a loud night.
The band opened with “Ten Thousand Fists” and “The Game” and riled up the crowd for the long night ahead. David Draiman, lead vocalist, walked across the stage and screamed out the lyrics of the songs while his band members headbanged and jumped around to the music. After they played “The Vengeful One” and “Prayer”, the band paused to welcome their “brothers and sisters” to the show. This was one of only the few times Draiman would stop to interact with the crowd as he prepared for their next song.
Draiman led off their next song “Liberate” which began with a series of blue spotlights and bright strobes that flashed to the beat of the drums, manned by Mike Wengren. The heavy riff and frequent profanity of the song opened up a “mosh pit” where the craziest fans ran around in a circle, pushing and shoving each other. “Let me see your fist in the air!” Draiman screams. The mosh pit did not let up and the band continued on and played“Land of Confusion”, “The Infection”, and “Stupify”. After almost a half an hour of nonstop enthusiasm, all the lights in the venue shut off and the crowd immediately settled and observed in the dim light silhouettes of multiple crewman that could be seen setting up new equipment for the band .
The beam of the spotlight shined in the darkness and revealed Draiman and guitarist Dan Donegan who began to play their somber acoustic ballad “Darkness” which changed the show’s atmosphere. Fans waved light sources in the air as they praised Draiman’s voice, which was now peaceful. The acoustic number went on to play their new hit cover song “The Sound of Silence”, originally by Simon & Garfunkel. More spotlights revealed the rest of the band members, who each played orchestral instruments. As the spotlights faded away and the song ended, the crowd erupted into an approving cheer.
The band transitioned back to their heavy music and played a few more songs before they covered a medley of songs such as “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2, “Baba O’Riley” by The Who, and most memorably “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine.
As the night came to a close, the band played “Indestructible” to end their setlist. After the song ended, they walked off stage and shut off the lights. Fans stayed, waiting expectantly for the band’s most popular song. Sure enough, a few moments later, Draiman’s voice is heard in the darkness. “Well well well, I see the infection has spread. We all have the sickness.” The crowd screamed in excitement as the band wrapped it up with “Down With the Sickness”.
As the song finished, Draiman stood still in the center of the stage and stared at his disciples. He finally closed the concert with a triumphant shout. “We are Disturbed!”