April 11, 2016 Disturbed & Nonpoint Take Over Irving Plaza, NYC 4-4-16
Shortly after the Grunge Rock explosion in the early nineties, a unique Metal sub-genre emerged that incorporated aggression, speed, and thunderous action. This new sound became known as Nu Metal, where bands such as Korn, System of a Down, and Slipknot were considered at the top of the pack. However, around the same time, bands such as Disturbed and Nonpoint were born, and in the year 2000 both respectively released major studio debut albums, The Sickness and The Statement. Making strong impressions upon the masses, both were lumped into the Nu Metal wave. However, like those who came before them, each band blazed their own path, equally building names within Hard Rock and Heavy Metal that listeners adore fifteen plus years later.
Unfortunately for fans, Disturbed announced an unforeseen hiatus back in 2011, one which would occur shortly after the release of 2010’s Asylum album and last the better part of four years. With members off on other projects and lead man David Draiman devoting time to be a father, it was not until mid-2015 when they announced a surprise return that included the sixth studio release of Immortalized. Fans rejoiced, especially after receiving news of a spring 2016 tour to follow with none other than their old friends in Nonpoint. With Nonpoint as direct support, it was highly anticipated for months to see the two bands joining forces together for a mighty Metal tour. The tour kicked off on March 11th in Vancouver, British Columbia and concluded on April 10th at Memphis, Tennessee with a ton of great shows in between it all. However, on Monday, April 4th, Disturbed sold out Irving Plaza in New York City, where the venue was packed with devoted fans from the get-go.
As the venue continued to fill with many eager fans, it was time for Nonpoint to take the stage. These Floridian Metallers were formed in 1997, and it was after their independently released Separate Yourself in 1997 and Struggle in 1999 when major record labels noticed them. Since then, they have released eight studio albums and continue to tour following their most recent, 2014’s The Return. Now considered veterans of their craft, Nonpoint consist of original members Elias Soriano (vocals) and Robb Rivera (drums), along with Rasheed Thomas (guitar/vocals), Adam Woloszyn (bass), as well as BC Kochmit (lead guitar/vocals). Despite being thrown into the Nu Metal sub-genre, Nonpoint’s style is best described as a combination of Heavy Metal, Hardcore, and Blues, which makes them an exciting act to listen and experience live.
Coming out inspired, Nonpoint commanded from the start as they opened up with “Miracle” from the 2010 album of the same name. Demonstrating a powerful energy, they continued to power through the classic track “What a Day” from 2000’s Statement. Soriano jokingly engaged with the crowd as he asked the audience if they knew who they were. He continued with this and used the band’s dreadlocks look to convince the group that they were KoRn and played a snippet of “Blind.” After comically catching the crowd’s attention, Soriano demanded everyone to jump on the next track. Claiming those who were not moving were most likely Justin Bieber fans wearing Zebra or Leopard print shirts, he asked for the audience to grab them and make them jump as well as they moved into “Hands Off” from 2007’s Vengeance. Keeping up with a flavorful amount of energy, the set continued with a mix of songs from their extensive discography including “Misery,” “The Truth,” and “That Day.”
As the set was coming down to a close, “Breaking Skin” from The Return ignited, which concluded in a brief drum solo from Rivera. It was thereafter Soriano demanded the fans to open their hands in the air with palms wide as they were about to feel something as the next track would take everyone back to remember the good times and what they find “In The Air Tonight.” In reaction, many raised their cellphones in the air during this distinctive Phil Collins’ cover. After reflecting on nostalgic memories, Nonpoint moved into “F**K’D” as chaos let loose and Nonpoint closed out the set with fan-favorite “Bullet With a Name.” The bottom-line, Nonpoint knows how to destroy the stage with an immense amount of stamina, as they will continue to perform later this summer in August. Hopefully they will stay true to form and plan to release another new record at some point in 2016.
After an exciting opening by Nonpoint, fans cried out after seeing any movement on the stage as they were eager to see the return of Disturbed. Draiman once explained their four-year hiatus, which began in 2011, as wanting to leave when the band was at their peak, and to return after feeling rejuvenated, ready to begin anew on their terms. It was a break to have the band evolve and not to become stagnant, which is where the innovative and new direction of the latest Immortalized showcased the change. Fans were eager and pumped to see Draiman (vocals), Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums), and John Moyer (bass) take to the stage. With that said, it has been five years since Disturbed performed in New York City, which was in January 2011 at Hammerstein Ballroom. On this evening, the band made sure to make the night extra special to patch up the lost time.
The music in the venue shut off, however, the screen stayed dangling down. Familiar music of Disturbed erupted, and many fans cheered when a short video began. This video showcased the history of Disturbed, capturing live shows, events, and fans from across the world. It was reliving the magic, and reminiscing on how impactful Disturbed’s music has been in the history of their career. Shortly after this video, the band walked onto the stage as fans continued to scream to the top of their lungs. The fog hit the stage as Draiman stood and ignited the set with the title track of 2005’s Ten Thousand Fists. Draiman knew what his fans wanted as the music continued to grow from across their career. The next track of “The Game,” from 2000’s The Sickness, followed. After performing two favorable classic hits, they moved in with newer song “The Vengeful One.” Fans were mesmerized as the set flooded in with back to back tunes from 2002’s Believe with “Prayer” and “Liberate.” With Draiman ruling the stage, Donegan and Moyer released their own captivations as they continued with the Genesis cover of “Land of Confusion,” “The Infection,” and signature cut, “Stupify.”
As the music moved right along, the stage darkened and many fans cried out to hear more. Once the lights kicked in, the stage was set acoustically. Draiman asked the fans to raise their cell phones and lighters in the air as they moved in with their acoustic set that included “Darkness” and the mesmerizing cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” Beautifully placed, these songs together cooled down the audience as many could be seen singing along or just standing in complete admiration.
Moving back in the electronic direction, fans screamed after “Inside the Fire,” followed by “Stricken.” Fog flowed across the stage during this track as the band continued to dominate the stage. Draiman conversed with the crowd, asking how New York was feeling, and demanded all to participate in the next. As he wisely promoted the newer material, he wanted the fans to raise their phones and lighters once again in the next piece to shed some light in the darkness as they went into single “The Light.” After an acoustic set and favorable Disturbed classics, the set changed once again to a medley of covers. The entire room sang along to the nostalgic cover hits that included Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” and Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing in the Name.” Then, to many’s delight, Nonpoint’s Soriano jumped in on the last piece to sing with Draiman on “Killing in the Name” for a electrifying dueling. Despite this being the perfect set closeout, Draiman had more in store as he asked New Yorkers if they were feeling strong and that there were no stronger people than those in the city of New York. He playfully announced the next piece, stating that the New Yorkers in the house are strong as though they feel “Indestructible.”
Completely amazing the audience, the band left the stage shortly after the track, having a few fans screaming out “ten more songs!” As the venue continued to echo in Disturbed cheers, Draiman walked onto the stage and surprised the crowd with a snippet of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” He stopped to look at the entire venue and shouted out, “We missed the hell out of you people!” He then went on to mention how there was something special about the city, unlike any other. After engaging in friendly exchanges with the crowd, they moved in with “Voices” and officially closed with “Down With the Sickness.” A fitting encore, both tracks were performed as though it was 2000 when each helped pave the way for Disturbed as an influential band. Soaking it all in, Draiman gave his love to New York one last time, promising he will be back very soon. Those who missed this run need not be troubled because Disturbed will return as they are touring all throughout the summer with Breaking Benjamin, including headlining festivals such as Carolina Rebellion.