MARCH 11th 2016 

Review by Lana Muirhead
Photos by Peter Ruttan
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When almost a whole tour sells out within minutes of being announced, and then you add an additional amazing band, you have all the ingredients for a night whipped full of insanity and mayhem. The Disturbed and Nonpoint tour has the masses stirring as it has been almost five years since Disturbed has put out new material; and Nonpoint has a loyal following but not had the occasion to tour everywhere it needed to really tap into – and satiate - its fanbase.  This was one of the most anticipated shows in Vancouver for 2016 (well for me at least and my opinion is what’s carrying the day in this particular article so shut your faces).  The night was more than successful and will hopefully prove to both bands that they need to get their asses to Vancouver on a more regular basis.

Nonpoint kicked things off and hit it hard right off the bat. Though it took a couple of songs to get the volume just right, lead vocalist Elias Soriano, guitarist B.C. Kochmit, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Rasheed Thomas, bassist Adam Woloszyn and drummer Robb Rivera didn’t let minor wrinkles crease their performance.  Nonpoint cranked out the likes of “What A Day”, “Misery”, “Miracle”, “Left for You”, “I Said It”, “Breaking Skin” and “Pins and Needles” with razor-sharp precision. I had seen Nonpoint in festival settings before but they clearly excel in the closer quarters as well. The boys took a quick break to chat with the audience and were dead serious when they introduced themselves to new faces as Korn. Thank God enough folks still had their wits about them to laugh.  But when asking and realizing how many in the crowd were Nonpoint virgins, they broke out a cover that anyone on the planet could get behind: Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”. The very first time I heard this cover I got goosebumps.  Seeing it live was like a full body shiver and I maintain it is one of the best covers out there to date.

Just when I thought they were done with their 45-minute set, and after leaving the stage to rancid cheers of their name, Nonpoint returned and closed out their performance with “Bullet With A Name”; a personal favourite. Elias put his all into the vocals, displaying a dizzying range of musical influences from hip-hop to hard rock and captioned each tune with his signature scream. B.C. and Rasheed kept the crowd entertained with their lively moves and full body investment in the music. Robb pounded away on the drums like he was born to do, providing the foundation of beats that marks the unique and poignant sound Nonpoint is known for. Other than being mesmerized by Adam’s bass playing, I couldn’t help but notice the caption on his shirt: “Here To Start A War”. How on-point (see what I did there?!?) he was to sport that because if there’s anything that Nonpoint would know how to do it’s start a massive assault on a room full of primed eardrums.  Awesome set guys; the stage is right where you belong. Before everyone could get their tour shirt or a 9th beer, the lights dimmed and the beginnings of “Ten Thousand Fists” could be heard while Disturbed band members moved into position on stage. As I looked around at the massive crowd and the plethora of fists banging the air, I could see that almost everyone was singing along, word for word. And it didn’t stop there: they plowed through tunes old and new alike, including “The Game”, “The Vengeful One”, “Prayer”, “Stupify”, “Land of Confusion”, “The Light”, “Inside the Fire”, “Stricken” and “Indestructible”.  

At one point about halfway through the set, the lights dimmed and a different setup could be seen being put out. Unsure what to expect, it was especially different for a band so aptly defined by their driving hard rock/metal persona to break from the norm to do a little acoustic number. I’ve seen Disturbed live a couple of times now, the most recent about 8 years ago. One of the tunes that always blew me away was “The Darkness” originally released on their sophomore studio album, “Believe”. If you could ever masturbate to a slow song, that was it: so seeing it live I almost had a full body orgasm. Frontman David Draiman displayed his uncanny ability to shift from heavy metal megaladon to soft, ballad-ready, button-down teddy vocals that still seem to scream for command.  Dan Donegan (guitar/electronics) and John Moyer (bass) switched their typical strings of choice for acoustic numbers and Mike Wengren (drums) left his elaborate kit for a more humble giant set of timpani/kettle-type drums.  Several string instruments were also brought out and Disturbed demonstrated their ‘softer’, albeit still grandiose, side through this tune and a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”.

To rile the masses further, there was also a small covers section the boys broke out.  When the first beats to Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” started, the stench of sexual tension was ripe in the room. This is absolutely the sexiest song in hard rock and Disturbed just nailed it. They also lightened the mood with U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, the Guess Who’s “Teenage Wasteland” and rounded it out with Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In the Name Of” before circling back around to their own material. When David, John, Dan and Mike left the stage for the inevitable return to encore, they came back to a small crowd of folks giving the thumbs down. David politely asked why in the hell they were being booed and the concert-goer responded that he wanted to hear “Down With The Sickness”. Being the seasoned performers they are, this rolled right off of Disturbed’s finely tuned ass and David quietly responded with some age-old advice: that “Patience IS a virtue” and that “Good things come to those who wait.”  And after delivering us a golden oldie in “Voices” followed up with “Down With The Sickness” to close out the set.

John and Dan were absolute devils on their bass and guitar, respectively.  Not only did they tear out every riff like the mad dogs that they are, but they treated the crowd with elaborate fingering and cross-handed playing. Dan had an especially ear-rotic moment during “Inside the Fire” while Mike took some awesome drumming liberties in “Down With the Sickness” that you can only explain by saying ‘You had to be there’. David, as always, made his part look effortless, and easily fed the crowd the mouthfuls of vocal goodness we come to expect from his sickly talented arse. The worst part of the night was taking out my ear tampons and realizing that the volume on the show was so loud that sometimes the minutiae of the vocals was being distorted.  I then put them back in and laughed and shook my head at the poor buggers that couldn’t experience the set without the distortion. If there’s one thing you learn attending bigger shows at the Commodore it’s bring your earplugs.

Overall, unreal show, unreal turnout and absolute aces of a kick start to a multiple venue tour for the bands together.  If I ever want a good ear hump I throw on Disturbed or Nonpoint but I had a total head bang during the live show. Thank you all for your awesomeness and be sure to remember us cool kids in Vancouver.