keep-calm-and-listen-to-nu-metal-2-1On Friday, August 21st, I traveled back in time. I traveled back to the mid 2000’s, a time when what was then being referred to as “Nu-Metal” was all the rage and a little band known as Disturbed was quickly changing the genre in a huge way. When Disturbed announced they were releasing a new album after a five-year hiatus, fans were full of emotions and reactions, mainly excitement and nervousness. What would the new album sound like? Would the band change their sound? What if the five-year hiatus changed them for the worse? I imagine those were the types of questions going through fans, and likely even critics, heads when the announcement was made.

Then, an announcement was made Disturbed would be returning to the road. But they weren’t just announcing another set of tour dates, no the big announcement was Disturbed would be debuting their brand new and much-anticipated album Immortalized in their hometown at House of Blues the day of its release. Fans went nuts, Facebook exploded, and the show sold out in what felt like seconds to those lucky enough to get tickets to what was sure to be an epic show. Every hard rock fan, metal fan and fan of the band knew this would be the show everyone would be talking about. With the release of the band’s sixth studio album and their return to the stage after a five-year hiatus and a sold-out show in their hometown, the pressure was on for Disturbed to deliver the show of their career. And man did they deliver.

Disturbed-House-of-Blues-Chicago-08-21-15-29I’ve been to a countless number of concerts in my day and have seen bands put on some of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The night of Friday, August 21st, I added another to my list. Disturbed put on an incredible performance that was full of energy and flare and gratitude. They poured their heart and soul into their almost two-hour set. It was clear it wasn’t just the fans who were nervous about the band’s grand return. The guys in Disturbed were just as nervous, as David Draiman pointed out while on stage. The fans in attendance couldn’t have asked for anything more from the band. Disturbed played all of their biggest hits, including most of The Sickness album (a fan favorite) as well as a couple of new songs. The only song missing from the band’s setlist was their cover of “Shout2000.” From opening with “Ten Thousand Fists” to ending with the popular “Down with the Sickness,” Disturbed blew the roof off of the small venue, leaving fans exhausted and well past satisfied. While many lead singers will drag out time on stage by talking about whatever happens to roll off their tongues, Draiman avoided that pet peeve of many concert goers. The front man only paused long enough to express gratitude to the band’s followers – their “brothers and sisters,” as Drainman refers to the fans – for staying with them through the years and supporting them from the beginning.

There’s no doubt Disturbed has grown as a band. Both musically and personally, each member of the band has evolved. And while looking around the wall to wall crowd of people in attendance at the show, it was clear to me that Disturbed’s fans have also grown. This wasn’t a venue full of angry teenagers looking to start a mosh pit. These were adults, some who were probably parents, many who probably had 9-5 jobs, most which looked to be of the working middle class with bills to pay. These were people who spent their hard-earned money to see a favorite band who they missed for the last five years. It wasn’t just a concert. It was a reunion of a band with their fans who have been together since the beginning, ready for their next chapter.

So here’s to Disturbed, a band who put their all into what will surely be a concert that will be talked about for the rest of their career. Here’s to a band that not only helped change the hard rock and metal genre, but after a five-year hiatus came back like absolutely no time had passed and completely blew everyone away. Your fans, your “brothers, and sisters”, salute you.