May 3, 2003

Disturbed Still Using Music as A Weapon

By Randy J. Klodz

David Draiman, frontman for heavy metal outfit Disturbed told a sold-out Vic Theatre crowd last September that when he and his band return to its hometown of Chicago, it would play a room 10 times the size of the Vic. He was right.

Disturbed returned to Chicago May 3 to headline the final date of the second installment of the “Music as A Weapon Tour,” at UIC Pavilion, which also featured other heavy rock acts Unloco, Taproot and Chevelle.

Unloco, hailing from Austin, Texas, took the stage first and played to the fans that arrived for the 7 p.m. start time. With much of the fans yet to arrive, Unloco vocalist Joey Duenas led his band through a 25-minute set that featured the stand-out track “Bruises.”

Ann Arbor, Mich. rockers Taproot grinded out a 40-minute set that featured tracks from its debut “Gift” and the recently released “Welcome.” Vocalist Stephen Richards dedicated “Breathe” to all the present fans seated in the balcony area, circled the pavilion crowd mid-set and led his band through a set that also included “Again and Again” and the hit single “Poem.”

The brothers Loeffler—Pete (vocals and guitar), Joe (bass) and Sam (drums)—comprise the Chicago rock band Chevelle, which took the stage with a 40-minute set with them playing “Point #1” and a slew of tracks from its most recent “Wonder What’s Next Album,” which included “Comfortable Liar,” “Family System” and “Send the Pain Below.” Disturbed’s Draiman joined Chevelle on-stage to provide guest vocals for Chevelle’s hit single “The Red.”

But the night belonged to Disturbed. Draiman, guitarist Dan Donegan, bassist Fuzz and drummer Mike Wengren powered through a nearly two-hour set that included nearly every track from the debut “The Sickness” and the most recent “Believe.”

The hometown crowd responded so well to the first two songs of the set, that Draiman said between the popular “Voices” and the hard-hitting “Intoxicate,” “We’ve been looking forward to this date for a long time and we come home to this,” which left him smiling as his silver goatee sparkled under the spotlight.

Disturbed continued through the tracks “Fear,” “Devour,” “Mistress,” “Down With the Sickness” and many others, but before Disturbed could charge on farther through the set, Draiman had to clear something up. “Contrary to what the critics say,” he said, “heavy metal lives and breathes in Chicago,” which put the packed UIC Pavilion crowd in an uproar—a legion of fans so large that this event, originally scheduled to rock the Aragon Ballroom, was quickly moved the much larger Pavilion.

Fans were also in for another treat when Disturbed played a second version of “Liberate” that was being filmed for the tour’s DVD, which should be expected to hit stores within the following months.

Disturbed and Chevelle are two of the bands scheduled to share main stage duties at this year’s festivities on the OZZfest, while Unloco is slated to take part in the revolving line-up that makes up the OZZfest second stage. Scheduled local dates for the OZZfest tour are July 20 at Tweeter Center in Tinley Park, Ill. and Aug. 2 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisc. For more information on the tour, log onto www.ozzfest.com.

Dan Donegan of Disturbed Photo: Randy J. Klodz
David Draiman of Disturbed Photo: Randy J. Klodz