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Music as a Weapon IV: Disturbed / Killswitch Engage / Chimaira / Lacuna Coil

31.3.2009  Dallas, Texas, USA

On March 31st four heavy metal/rock bands graced Dallas, TX with their fast-paced, hardcore music. Music as a Weapon, as the tour is called, is on its 4th year and has been gaining popularity across the U.S. The show was at Nokia Theatre, a huge venue with a hefty capacity of 2200 people (and it was completely full). The lineup this year was more impressive than ever: Lacuna Coil, Chimaira, Killswitch Engage, and finally Disturbed.

Lacuna Coil
After hearing Lacuna Coil, I think it’s safe to say they definitely belonged on this tour. I had doubts at first (as I always do when I see a female rock/metal vocalist). Cristina Scabbia wasted no time belting out her screams and growls as the crowd pulsed and moshed. Although they only had time for 3 songs, Lacuna Coil didn’t disappoint.

By the time Chimaira was up, the crowd was going wild. Everyone was eagerly awaiting their brutal riffs and mega-breakdowns, but I must admit that even I wasn’t ready for what they had in store for us that night. Chimaira isn’t really known for using excessive sub-bass during breakdowns…needless to say that’s changed. With every breakdown came an assault of sub-bass that pushed the crowd to near chaos. After only 2 of their songs people were crowd-surfing left and right. The energy that vocalist Mark Hunter and the rest of the members showed made their performance that night unforgettable.

Killswitch Engage
Now before I start ranting about how awesome Killswitch is (because they are), let me just say this: Killswitch Engage has been my favorite band since the moment I saw them. Ok, now that that’s out of the way…Killswitch is spicing things up a bit this year with a more ‘interactive’ stage-setup. Behind them onstage there was a 50-foot long TV-ish thing that was synced with the music. I’ve never seen anything like it before, but I have to admit it definitely added to their stage presence. Starting off with their Grammy-nominated song “The End of Heartache”, Killswitch practically tore the arena down. Vocalist Howard Jones sounded a bit raspy/hoarse, but that didn’t stop him from commanding the audience with his evil roars. Lead guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz (pictured) was bouncing off the walls as usual, and would set the crowd into frenzies with his hilariously-awesome-but-super-inappropriate gestures. The guys also played a song from their upcoming album (available June 29th) and gave us all something to look forward to.

Last, but most definitely not least, the almighty Disturbed. The moment the lights dimmed the arena became anxiously silent, waiting for Disturbed to slam us with their intro. Well they definitely did…and then some. Lead guitarist Dan Donegan came out first shredding on his guitar. Next was bassist John Moyer, strumming away madly. By this time I started to wonder “Where on earth is vocalist David Draiman?” About a minute later, Disturbed’s giant symbol appeared at the top of the stage. As it slowly began to turn, the crowd went wild. I looked up just in time to see this:

David Draiman himself strapped to the symbol. As it slowly lowered to the ground, he stepped off and gave the crowd an anxious stare. The lights dimmed, the music calmed, and everyone waited. An explosion of lights along with guitar riffs and drum beats was the transition to their song “10,000 Fists”. Disturbed played an impressive 13 songs, each one livelier than the last. Usually most bands have an amazing intro, but not much of an ‘outro’. To say the least, Disturbed had one of the most amazing exits I’ve ever seen. Their famous song “Down With the Sickness” (you know, oo-wah-ah-ah?) was what they had saved for last.

As the intro for the song started, the crowd went absolutely wild. The song’s intro is pretty long, so we all waited impatiently for the chaos we knew was coming. As the riff built up to the famous ‘oo-wah-ah-ah’, the stage went completely black. For 15 long seconds we waited for David Drainman to give us our cue to go insane. Finally, the legendary ‘oo-wah-ah-ah’ was heard and the crowd went ballistic.
Out of all the concerts/festivals I’ve been to, I have to say this one tops them all. The combination of talented bands, amazing stage-shows, and crowd-participation put it at the top of my list.

more photos:

Cameron Field

GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski