Even on a Sunday night in January, Atlantic City was still hopping with the sounds of gamblers throwing their cash away at slots and tables in hopes of scoring that one big, final win. And the fact that The Music As A Weapon Tour was about to blow through the House of Blues only added to the chaos of a night that being in "America's Playground" could bring.
Disturbed had been heading the tour since the band first created the concept in 2001. Since then, they have shared the stage with several all-star acts such as Chevelle, Stone Sour, and Killswitch Engage. This year, in order to promote their newest album "Asylum", Disturbed has brought on Korn as a co-headliner as well as heavy metal giants Sevendust and In This Moment. The union of Disturbed and Korn has been much anticipated for years, and now fans across the globe will finally get what they've been begging for.
Playing to a packed house, In This Moment opened up the night with a half hour set consisting of songs off their newest album, "A Star-Crossed Wasteland". Having just finished a tour with Nonpoint, this female fronted hardcore group had the crowd going wild with passionate screams and heavy riffs. If that wasn't enough to get everyone's attention, the fog machines, devil's horns, and skill covered mic stand definitely would. It seems as though it's becoming increasingly important nowadays for any act in this genre to design a set-up that mirrors the density and roughness of their music. Would Rob Zombie be the same without the props and pyrotechnics? This writer thinks not.
Sevendust took to the stage next for another quick set. Playing a list of songs ranging from their first album all the way to their most recent, Sevendust took the audience on a trip down memory lane to the sound of metal in the late nineties and early 2000s. Having been on the circuit for well over a decade now, it's clear from their live performance that these guys are veterans in their field. Strong stage presence from vocalist Lajon Witherspoon captivated the audience as they screamed along with his rough vocals. Unfortunately the performance was a bit rushed as they raced through the seven-song set.
Anticipation for Korn built up fast during set change and once Jonathan Davis took to the stage and opened with "Blind", the entire room practically exploded. The sounds of all four musicians came together perfectly as they delved into their set. A majority of the performance was dedicated to their hits such as "Freak On A Leash", "Falling Away From Me", and "Shoots and Ladders", further invigorating the crowd with their unbelievably flawless performance. Recognition should go to whoever did their sound for the night as the mix was crystal clear. For the final song, it seemed as though they were going to close with "Coming Undone". Instead, they started playing a medley of songs that included "We Will Rock You", "Twisted Transistor", and finally "Y'All Want A Single" to top it off.
Disturbed brought the mayhem to a close by opening with a series of video clips and the instrumental intro from "Asylum". Lead singer David Draiman then took to the stage and jumped into the title track while the video continued behind him. Moving on to "Prayer" and "Liberate", the screen flashed images of religious symbols while flames engulfed the stage during "Inside The Fire". "The Guy", the band's devilish mascot, even made an onscreen appearance towards the end as Draiman demanded the audience to raise their hands along to "Ten Thousand Fists". Talk about fan interaction, he even brought a video camera onstage and projected the entire audience on the screen behind him. As the set concluded, Disturbed returned for an encore and performed "Down With the Sickness". The crowd went absolutely insane and left an air of exhilaration as the lights came back and the show ended.
Being only February, metal has already seemed to make its mark in 2011. Let's hope that future tours and the much anticipated Mayhem Fest can live up to the expectations.