Alexandra Palace, London


The last couple of times Disturbed have visited the UK capital, their gigs have been at the O2 Arena. This time they have opted for a bit of Victorian class in the form of Alexandra Palace. The band visit London as part of their massive “Evolution” World Tour, where all the dates of the UK leg sold out well in advance. The band have brought along Newport’s finest to open up for them tonight and at exactly 7:30pm the four members of Skindred march on stage to their own remixed version of the Star Wars imperial March. After a recent health kick frontman Benji is looking in really good shape and in his own original way whips up the crowd during their first number “Bing Tings”. The band’s eclectic mix of reggae, metal and punk really connects with this London audience here tonight and as well as their army of fans they soon make many new ones. The band’s energy is relentless with the hyperactive Mikey Demus on Guitar, the vital Dan Pugsley on Bass and the irrepressible Arya Goggin on the drums; who each inject positive musical vibes into this huge room.

The band deliver a set full of huge tunes with “Rat Race”, the huge anthem that is “Machine” and “That’s My Jam”, which includes some fun crowd participation. Benji interacts with the audience throughout showing what a towering frontman he is and positively relishes performing in front of big audiences. The set ends typically with a monster of a tune called “Warning”, which features huge riffs and a chorus nobody can get wrong. The world famous “Newport Helicopter” takes vigorously off in here tonight; but just wait until the band play the main stage at the Download Festival this year, it will be taken to new heights.

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Even before Disturbed take to the stage the atmosphere in here is one of pure celebration, a string of tunes by bands who have lost someone through suicide are played over the PA. The audience emotionally starts singing along the lyrics to the tunes and when “In The End” by Linkin Park comes on, the whole audience in a beautiful unison sing the chorus. A very fitting tribute to fallen hero Chester Bennington. The lights go down and a short film appears on the huge backdrop detailing some of the bands history, with footage shot over their long career since forming in 1994. One of the final messages to appear on the screen before the band takes to the stage is “When Music is the weapon a world Army Unites”. The band arrive on stage to a massive welcome from the London crowd and then launch into the powerful “Are You Ready”, the opening track from the latest album “Evolution”. The response from the audience is phenomenal = as I look around fans all around me are in a truly emotional state at seeing their heroes on stage. The band delivers on all levels with songs from all areas of their illustrious career including “The Animal”, “Stupify” and their excellent take on the Genesis classic “Land of Confusion”.

The band slows things down a little with an acoustic interlude that includes a beautiful heartfelt version of “Hold on to Memories”, which features a historic pictorial montage of the band projected onto the backdrop. There is then an earth shattering version of the “Sound Of Silence”; where David Draiman shows off his considerable vocal range while accompanied by Dan Donegan on flaming piano, as well as beautiful strings of a violin and a cello. Before performing “A Reason to Fight” David makes a speech about the horrors of mental health and how it affects people and he encourages people to watch for the signs. When this man talks; he talks with conviction with his tone and sincerity, making each person intently listen to what he has to say. The words make the song even more powerful and there are a few people in tears around me as it’s played. Things start to get heavy again with an impressive version of “Indestructible”, which sees some of the crowd form a hectic circle pit. Next is the intense “Inside The Fire”, a tune written about the loss of David’s girlfriend when he was just sixteen years old. The hall is lit up with dancing pyrotechnics and burning ropes which systematically drop down from the ceiling. These make for some amazing visuals which really enhance this powerfully emotive tune.

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The band leave the stage for a short time and return to invite a few chosen guests to the stage. The first is a rather nervous young couple who get engaged on stage in front of 10,000 people. The second is a man who has gone through a hellish time of late with medical complications, he arrives on stage on crutches and is embraced by each member of the band. His huge beaming smile at this selfless act will live with me for a long time, he and the couple sit on stage while the band performs their next number. The band really care about the issues facing their own community and their own fans, music indeed brings people together to do great things. The set ends with possibly the band’s biggest tune “Down with the Sickness”, which gives us one last chance to dance before the band disappear until the next time. Apparently; according to Draiman, this won’t be too long as they may possibly be playing one of the large UK festivals next year…Download, Reading, Glastonbury?? Whichever one it is, it’s bound to be epic.

Are You Ready
The Vengeful One
The Animal
Guitar Solo
Land of Confusion (Genesis cover)
Bass Solo
Drum Solo
Ten Thousand Fists
The Game
No More
A Reason to Fight
Hold On to Memories
The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Inside the Fire

The Light
Down With the Sickness

Intro: Thunderstruck/The Imperial March
Big Tings
Rat Race
Sound the Siren
That’s My Jam
Kill the Power






Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery
Additional Pictures by Joshua Chinery
Adition Video of “Inside The Fire” by HornedKing 123

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