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Disturbed's meaningful metal makes an impact.

Disturbed Reign

Headliner of the Music as a Weapon tour, heavy metal band Disturbed was crowned king for a night in San Jose

By Sarah Quelland

BY THE TIME DISTURBED hit the stage last Saturday (April 19), the heat generated by jamming fans pushing and pitting furiously throughout sets by Deconstruct, Unloco, Chevelle and Taproot radiated from the floor to the ceiling, creating a muggy ecosystem inside the SJSU Event Center. If metal ruled in San Jose on Saturday night, then Disturbed was its king.

A forceful leader, Disturbed frontman David Draiman commanded his kingdom, leading the sweaty masses through songs from debut album The Sickness and new album, Believe. The band's stage was simply decorated with the emblem on the cover of the new record, a layered composite of four international religious symbols that, to the band, signifies universal belief. Belief, acceptance and freedom were all part of the heavy metal doctrine that Disturbed preached. Controlled in his speeches, Draiman told the crowd, "It is you who are the givers of life to the four who stand united on this stage. We cannot exist without you, so tonight you are our god. I bid you welcome to the church of heavy fuckin' metal." A sea of metal horns raised in salute.

At times, the night felt like a political rally as Draiman alluded to the title of the Music as a Weapon tour, saying, "Fight the war. Use our music as a weapon," while encouraging fans to pray for the safe return of America's brothers and sisters overseas. To this, the crowd began chanting "U.S.A.," only to be silenced by the slow sweeping of his hand. The power he yielded was incredible.

When performing, the members of Disturbed don't mess around. They play like veterans, and the muscular group runs through its songs with precision and skill. Meanwhile, Draiman's vocals are like a persuasive chant. He lures people into his dark world through songs like "Bound," "Voices," "Liberate," "Devour," "Awaken," "Remember" and "Droppin' Plates."

As the show neared its close, Draiman announced, "I think it can safely be said that San Jose is down with the sickness," before breaking into the intense "Down With the Sickness." When the band exited, the crowd demanded an encore. Draiman returned, and it wasn't until he was satisfied with the level of energy rushing from the floor to the stage that the band broke into "Stupify." "You think you've got anything left for us, San Jose?" he asked, before the band concluded the night with "Prayer." Disturbed could hardly have asked for a more supportive crowd.

SUM ACTION: It was like a rainy-day recess inside South First Billiards last Thursday (April 17) when Channel 104.9 brought Canadian punk band Sum 41 to town for an acoustic set and Q&A session that preceded its nighttime performance at Santa Clara University. The crowd was appreciative but sedate as the band shuffled down from Billiards' loft to play "Over My Head, Better Off Dead," "No Brains," "The Hell Song" and the heavy metal parody "Pain for Pleasure." Afterward, while the group was taking questions from the audience about tattoos, air hockey, ring tones, the Warped Tour and Sum 41's upcoming European outing with Iron Maiden, a sleepy-looking Deryck "Bizzy D" Whibley absently strummed the intro to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters." Ultimately, it was a mellow event that needed more kids in the crowd to bring the enthusiasm levels up to MTV's screaming-fan standards.

DWELL POSITIVE: Reggae outfits Baldread and the Ragga Muffin Crew and Dub FX are playing a benefit concert for Joe Aytch Sunday (April 27), 3-8pm at Waves Smokehouse & Saloon with DJ Spin Cycle and live audio and dubmix by Shannon Craig. There's a $20 donation, and proceeds benefit Aytch and his family.

NEW LIFE: Zoe, SoFA's newest nightclub and restaurant (at 417 S. First St.) opens next Thursday (May 1) at 5:30pm with complimentary food and drink plus entertainment by the Wonderbread 5 and DJ Devious Dave. Invitations are available at Agenda Lounge or online at www.zoenightclub.com.


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From the April 24-30, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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