Disturbed | House of Blues | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Travis Shinn

When: Fri., Aug. 21, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: sold out
Disturbed is the most successful Chicago metal band fronted by a bald man who was raised by religious Israeli-Americans and trained to lead Jewish congregations in song. That’s a categorization that probably means nothing to most people, but to me it makes the band seem more alluring. Yet I still find it hard to believe that the megasingle “Down With the Sickness,” with its idiotic vocal breakdown in which front man David Draiman crudely describes being beaten by his mom (and vice versa), guided the band on to a path that’s resulted in four albums topping the Billboard 200. The moment remains an unfortunate blip from 2000’s The Sickness, an otherwise strong debut that tops off sharp postgrunge pop-metal tracks—the kind built to play over football highlight reels—with Draiman’s vocal pyrotechnics. Disturbed mostly makes the kind of heaviness that blends in with other mainstream radio rock, but thanks to Draiman the group remains slightly more interesting than the horde of Nickelbacks. And judging from the early singles off the forthcoming sixth album, Immortalized (Reprise), Disturbed is still doing what it’s been doing: flexin’ pop-metal muscles long enough to distract you from the fact that “Fire It Up” is a dumb song about smoking weed. Though come to think of it, the bong rip at the beginning is pretty blunt.
— Leor Galil
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