Celebrating Disturbed’s “Evolution” Release at iHeartRadio

Saying hello to the guys in Disturbed before they performed at iHeartRadio in New York City on October 19, 2018. It was nice to finally meet singer David Draiman, even if briefly,
after doing three phone interviews with him since the Believe days.
From left: drummer Mike Wengren, guitarist Dan Donegan, Draiman, and bassist John Moyer.
(Photograph by Chris Owyoung.)

Chicago metal quartet Disturbed celebrated the release of their new album Evolution with an intimate performance at iHeartRadio’s performance space in New York City on Friday night. Forty fan contest winners plus industry insiders got to witness an intimate, hour-long set, the first half hour of which was broadcast live and included some Q&A with frontman David Draiman. Fans also had the opportunity to get their photo taken with the band at a quick pre-show meet and greet.

After having listened to it over the last few weeks, I feel confident in saying that the new Disturbed album is their second best after Believe. There are a lot of acoustic and semi-acoustic tracks that might surprise many fans accustomed to their heavy sound, but they work well within the emotional tapestry of the album, which as Draiman told me in a recent Billboard interview focuses on death, loss, and rebellion. Prior to the band performing “A Reason To Fight” at iHeart, the singer addressed the supportive crowd about battling the demon of addiction and depression and the need to reach out and help troubled souls, rather than wait to view them in a coffin and lament how nothing could be done.

Disturbed put on a spirited performance for the enthusiastic throng, favoring songs from their debut and previous album Immortalized. Songs like “The Sound Of Silence,” “A Reason To Fight,” and their rocked up cover of Genesis’ “Land Of Confusion” certainly resonate with the times. To that end, I would love to have heard “Liberate” from Believe and “The Best Ones Lie” from the new album; the former cut is more relevant now than when it was released in 2002. That said, it was nice to hear the positive sentiments of “The Light” emerge during the set. The band was in good form throughout. Draiman struggled with the low notes at the beginning of “The Sound of Silence” but improved as the tune went on. Two string players joined them onstage for that cover.

Overall, this was a nice showcase for diehard fans. Undoubtedly many people entered the contest to get one of the coveted spots on the floor. The faithful were well rewarded.

    Set list:

Down With the Sickness (from The Sickness)
The Sound of Silence (Immortalized)
Are You Ready (Evolution)
The Light (Immortalized)
A Reason to Fight (Evolution)
Stupify (The Sickness)
Prayer (Believe)
The Vengeful One (Immortalized)
Land of Confusion (Ten Thousand Fists)
Voices (The Sickness)
The Game (The Sickness)

The crowd was definitely ready for Disturbed on Friday night.
(Photo ©2018 by Chris Primosch.)

The band already gave us a sonic respite with “The Sound Of Silence” as the second song in. This successful cover inspired them to open up more on Evolution.
(Photo ©2018 by Bryan Reesman.)

David Draiman and Dan Donegan pumping up their fans.
(Photo ©2018 by Bryan Reesman.)

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