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Monday, 6 October 2008

My brothers, my sisters, my blood

A nice long lie-in after the DragonForce mayhem, a quick sarnie, and the trip to Brixton began. I must confess me and Hot Chick were both incredibly excited by the prospect of seeing "Mad" David Draiman and the boys rip it up for the third time.

The train was empty apart from a group of 5 emo's and a couple of amorous pierced metal heads. My Disturbed hoody got the traditional knowing nod from both parties so I knew we were all headed in the same direction. Arrived and Brixton, off to the boozer. Wandering around this place ain't the most pleasant experience but when you're in a metal army, the whole safety in numbers adage rings true! A few pints of Tuborg later (even Hot Chick, an alcopop-at-the-most kinda drinker polished off one of the "Download pints") and we were in.

Support from Shinedown was pretty good but nothing exceptional. If the CD was 2 for a tenner, it'd make up the numbers. But the atmosphere in the Academy was exceptional. Unlike DragonForce, the crowd here was older, hairier, had more tattoos and had been drinking for longer. It was on.

Disturbed have always split the metal community but in an odd way. Whereas usually you have your old skool NWOBHM blokes vs. metalcore, etc., Disturbed have divided the press and the fans. The press don't get them, don't dig them in any way. The metallers though, fruncking love them. As ol' Davey points out, every time they come back they play bigger rooms (although his "tell ten of your friends to tell ten of their friends and we'll bring this shit to the O2" was a combination of optimism and shameless self-promotion).

Despite this being the Indestructible tour, they dipped into The Sickness, Believe and Ten Thousand Fists for the material tonight. I broke my neck as the opening bars of Voices violated the air and it didn't stop. I'm pretty sure I've dislodged a couple of discs but I'm hoping the pit at December's gigs will save on any orthopedic necessities.

Land Of Confusion was a personal highlight tonight. Take a Phil Collins song, distort the guitar and growl over the lyrics and all of a sudden you've got a metal anthem. Perhaps Anthrax should look at In The Air Tonight, Municipal Waste doing Think Twice would also get my vote.

Mike Wengren's spotlit drum solo wasn't anything special but as it was after the first song in the encore, it could only lead on to one thing. As soon as the telltale opening bars to The Sickness kicked in, the room went ballistic. This song IS Disturbed. Okay, Stricken may have been used in the WWE but only major fans, teenage boys and overweight IT technicians know about this. The Sickness went Hollywood baby (the song on the end credits of Dawn Of The Dead for anyone who doesn't already know).

Draiman gave us all a motivational speech about how we'd feel stronger when we left and got the crowd going with the now-expected:

Mad Davey: "My brothers, my sisters, my blood; we are..."
4,000 oiled metallers: "DISTURBED!"

Say what you want about their early nu-metal stuff but these guys have got eleven years of graft and development under their belt now. When I first saw them back in 2000 supporting Marilyn Manson (I was working security - not a fan of Mazza, although he is a good showman) I was hooked. Okay, David Draiman still comes out strapped to a trolley with a mask on a la Hannibal Lecter, but it's all part of their charm. And you cannot beat a 90+ minute set of singalong songs, beer in hand, fist in the air. I hope they don't get big enough for the O2 as these guys are a band of the people - if they grow much more, they might forget those of us who were with them from day one....

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