With conflicts raging throughout the world right now there is little that we can look forward to that takes us away from reality. One of the universal things that bring people together is Music. Perhaps this is what was in the mind of rock act Disturbed when they decided to create a tour that united some of the most well known acts in rock and metal. The aptly named Music as a Weapon tour has successfully been a staple in the winter concert scene since its inaugural voyage in 2001.
Boasting lineups with Drowning Pool, Chevelle, Taproot, Stone Sour, Nonpoint, Flyleaf and many others throughout the years, the 5th outing had one of the most powerful lineups to date. With newcomers Stillwell, and rock festival veterans In This Moment, Sevendust, and Korn, the show promised a powerhouse of rock and metal that would hit concertgoers like bombs. The show invaded Saginaw’s own Dow Event Center and provided a full on assault to the ears.
Headliners Disturbed powered through a roughly hour long set through their 6 studio albums. With video screens behind them showing footage of singer David Draiman the band opened up with Into the Fire while images of Draiman being hauled in an ambulance from an Asylum played on the screens behind them.
Following up with the song “The Game” the band proved why they are some of the best in the game. Providing the crowd with a visual as well as audio barrage of hits Disturbed definitely didn’t disappoint. If you are a fan of old stuff they played Stupify and Prayer. If the new stuff is more your style then Another Way to Die and Ten Thousand Fists were for you. The video screens displayed images that graced the cover of 2002 release Believe. Also gracing the screens was a giant American flag. Draiman was quite displeased with the lack of the enthusiasm of the crowd when this familiar sign came on the screens. He asked the crowd where their patriotism was.
If Disturbed were the generals in this army then Korn definitely were the Admirals. Powering through an astounding number of their hits the band unloaded solid energy on the night’s concertgoers. Giving the performance of the night, Jonathan Davis and company led the crowd through many of the last decades big rock anthems. Opening up with the recognizable rock anthem Blind, Davis screamed his famous Are you Ready? The answer was an astounding yes as the crowd erupted into cheers and welcomed the band onstage with open arms.
Playing the bagpipes in his trademark Adidas, the crowd got a trip down memory lane with the nursery rhyme themed Shoots and Ladders. If you know anything about Korn you will know that they put on one of the best live shows of any band. The highlight of the evening was the medley of hits the band did to wrap up their set. With, Ya’ll want a single, Coming Undone, Right Now, Twisted Transistor and a few others in the mix the barrage of hits just kept coming. Pulling Double duty on the night was Drummer Morgan Rose whose main band Sevendust was also on the bill. Rose’s animal like drumming skills were showed off supremely while he was behind the skins for Korn. Going non-stop for over an hour the drummer resembled a ferocious energizer bunny.
Rose’s guest spot in Korn did not deter from his main duties as drummer/screamer for Sevendust. Anticipating energy fueled show, the Atlanta based band did not let the crowd down. This is a band that thrives on 100% pure energy. What they get from the crowd they give back in return ten-fold. Going through their catalog of 8 albums, fans should have recognized at least 90% of the set. Ranging from 1998’s Denial to 2010’s Splinter, the set resembled a Sevendust heavy WKQZ set. The highlight of the night I think came during their set when they broke into the very familiar Walk by Pantera. The crowds’ voices were so loud the band didn’t even approach the microphones.
Kicking things off was Stillwell. Before the show not much was known about this act hailing from Bakersfield, Ca and Brooklyn, NY. One thing that was obvious when they hit the stage was that Stillwell had some very famous members. Playing guitar for the band was Fieldy, known best for his bass duties in tour partners Korn. Also part of Stillwell is drummer Wuv from nu-metal staples P.O.D. The most intriguing part of this act was that they brought the rap back into the metal game. Instead of calling it nu-metal or rap rock they title it Street metal. A little metal, a little rap and definitely street. Singer Q brought a new kind of ferociousness to his lyrics, not typically heard in the older inclination of the fusion of genres.
Also on the bill was In This Moment. A female fronted metal band known for being road dogs, ITM displayed some decent theatrics and a solid musical set. At times it seemed like vocalist Maria Brink was struggling with voice issues as she was screaming but the crowd ate it up and appreciated their performance.
All in all the Music as a weapon tour provided a good solid night of entertainment for the tri-cities. It’s good to see the Dow bringing in bigger name acts again. It brings back the nostalgia of the 90’s when most major tours included a stop through our great area.