On Tour: Disturbed Engulfs Struggles of Addiction and Mental Health In Flames of Hope

Get a look inside their Evolution Tour

February 20, 2019
David Draiman of Disturbed

Tiana Timmerberg, RADIO.COM

“Music is the one thing that strings us together” Disturbed frontman David Draiman preaches to the captivated crowd, allowing for a moment’s escape from the weight of any looming problems. 

Related: Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach Takes Social Media Break to Seek Mental Health Help

Classifying Disturbed as anything less than one of the biggest rock bands in the world feels like a rookie mistake. With hits that span all the way from the percussive growls of “Down With The Sickness” to the lasting message of acoustic ballads like “A Reason To Fight,” their range and depth is hard to deny. Even after diving into the calming thrill of acoustic songs and proving their versatility with Evolution, the Chicago rockers are staying true to their roots with a theatric performance decorated by stunning pyrotechnics, expert stage presences, and booming vocals. 

Disturbed
Tiana Timmerberg, RADIO.COM

Kicking off the experience that is the Evolution Tour is Three Days Grace, a band that’s successfully made it through the often debilitating switching of lead singers. With Matt Walst at the head, the band has continued to sneak in with at least three radio hits from 2018’s Outsider alone and a record-breaking 14 No.1 rock songs overall. Taking the stage to “The Mountain,” Three Days Grace delivers a nostalgia-filled set that tracks their 13 years of consistent hits. 

Matt Walst of Three Days Grace
Tiana Timmerberg, RADIO.COM

A goosebumb-inducing intro chronicles Disturbed’s "evolution" from the demonic mascot that fronts their previous albums to the constantly adapting DNA on the cover of their latest album. Donned in his classic, floor length coat, Draiman commands the stage with a stunning voice that dances around the walls of the packed arena during opener “Are You Ready.” 

Disturbed
Tiana Timmerberg, RADIO.COM

With almost 20 year of fan-favorites to cover, the band masterfully blazes through a perfectly balanced, career-spanning set. About midway through their 2-hour set, they move to an intimate B-stage shortly after giving a literal meaning to “Ten Thousand Fists.” Themes in Evolution continue to tackle the darker corners of life, leaving the band with the perfect canvas for a stripped-down portion of the set. 

Before they reappear on a much smaller stage placed in the middle of the general admission floor, an interlude video provides fans with resources for addiction and mental health hotlines. Acoustic guitars and candles switch the mood from fire and guitar shredding to self-reflection and peace. Powerful renditions of “A Reason To Fight” and “Watch You Burn” lead into a piano-accented performance of their famed “The Sound of Silence” cover

Closing out with a four-song encore that includes the track everyone’s been waiting for, Disturbed proves they’re still “Down With the Sickness” after a night full of comforting words, commanding stage presences, and a mix of everything good left in rock n’ roll. 

Disturbed
Tiana Timmerberg, RADIO.COM

Mental health, addiction, and relapses are very real. You are not alone, and we understand. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression and thinking of suicide, know that someone is always there. Additionally, give a call to 1-800-662-HELP (4357), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's national helpline, at any time, any day of the year, and free of charge.

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