Disturbed's solid performance at Manchester Academy

Ah, Disturbed. Who doesn't remember "The Sickness" album? One of the defining moments of past metal. I have very fond memories of that album and listening to it always makes me giggle in stupid, schoolboy fashion. It's certainly a good album to play whilst getting naked with someone shall we say? With that in mind, I was looking forward to a good bit of Gonzo style reporting. There was no way I was going to be at the back for this one.

Up at the front, I can certainly feel the energy. After Nevermore's solid metal performance, the bottles started to be thrown with vehemence. The crowd is beginning to get restless, with chants of "Disturbed" filling the Academy. One brave soul decides to sit on his mate's shoulders, immediately receiving several salvos of high velocity plastic to a chorus of cheers.

Disturbed open with "Guarded". The applause is almost deafening with an impressive use of the Academy's lighting creating plenty of visual light explosions and well placed spotlights. My first impression is that David Draiman is looking a little fragile. No-one seems to care with a pit forming right next to me. After moving into "Liberate" his vocals certainly do seem to be a little weak and quiet. The mixing seems to be very good however.

"Fear" came on next, one of their better songs in my opinion and they certainly picked up the pace. Dan Donegan's presence started to be felt with his guitar playing down at the front of the stage. David's vocals certainly start to pick up here. This is more like the Disturbed I remember.

Speaking of remembering, "Remember" subdued the crowd a little. Still, I could certainly feel the undercurrent of fury, ready to explode, which it did when "Just Stop" exploded off the stage. Everyone began to chant and throw their fists in the air. Dan Donegan looked absolutely knackered by this point, with the sweat pouring off him. It's that kind of energy I was feeling. But there was more energy left in the crowd; as soon as "Stupify" followed, the crowd exploded in a fury of moshing and circle pits.

"Deify" proved popular, though some of the vocals were a little off key. But everything went a little crazy and euphoric when "Voices" was finally played. Several bruises, pulled dreads and pits later, I'm trying my best to remember how to write! Following that madness with more madness, Disturbed decide to play one of their covers, "Land of Confusion". Never in a million years did I think I'd have my fists in the air listening to a song originally performed by Phil Collins. Very bizarre. Plenty of cheers with a few boos mixed in. Disturbed leave the stage after "The Game"... yet another track where the crowd goes absolutely insane, me included.

After several chants of "Disturbed" and applause, the band returns for their encore. David makes a little speech apologising for the rescheduling of the show so many times and expresses amazement at the amount of kids in the audience, apologising for his compulsory profanity. After that slight amusing interlude we are treated to two final songs. "Stricken" was the first but everyone knew in their heart of hearts that "Down with the Sickness" was going to be the final song. At this point, things became a bit crazy. Before the end, I'd surfed up and over the barrier of no return, lost in the moment of hard rock!

Disturbed have rescheduled so many times. One might say they've been "Down with the Sickness". Well, yes, er... Anyway, despite the setbacks and rescheduling, Disturbed went down a storm with the entire crowd, a crowd covering several age brackets. Small kids of around 6 years old moshing with 40 year old men. Disturbed still have what it takes to put on a metal show you aren't going to forget. I walked out of the gig feeling like I'd gone 20 rounds with a ravenous polar bear! I felt like the only thing that was carrying me was adrenaline and a solid rock beat. That's the kind of feeling you should have after a metal gig.