Words + Photos by Frank Ralph

The Manchester Apollo was absolutely heaving for the Disturbed show tonight. Not just busy, but absolutely jam packed full of rock fans. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the venue as full as it was for the first of their two nights in the city to close the Evolution World Tour. It was full right from the get-go too due to the support act tonight being the one and only Skindred, who are, in their own rights a massive draw.

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Nobody in their right minds would have missed them so they played their hour long set to a feverish audience that on another night might have stayed at the bar or pub for an extra pint as it was perfect beer garden weather outside.

They played it like a headline set, which to be fair, they always do. The new material mixed with some old firm favourites and Benji’s between song banter had every single person in the room bouncing.

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Benji looks fitter and sharper than ever and their massive sound makes them perfect to get any party going. But ultimately it was the downfall of Disturbed. For me at least.

They suffered in my opinion the same fate as many other bands before them, that have gone on after Skindred. Yes, they sound crushingly heavy and powerful at times and yes, they have some great tunes in their arsenal, but they just looked a bit lethargic and ploddy after the openers.

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Opening with a really impactful video of the band using clips from way back at the beginning with repeating messages about music being the weapon that means we must evolve things get off to a good start and the band appear to a rapturous welcome launching into Are You Ready?

A good solid start and Stupify early in the set is a highlight, but the momentum slows between tracks. The barrage of ‘Woah’s’ in their cover of Genesis’ Land of Confusion borders on the Bon Jovi and when they directly follow a slightly tedious bass solo with a slightly tedious drum solo the momentum almost halts.

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They lost my attention with that and I had to head to the bar to get a drink because it was too damn hot. The completely packed room and the roasting temperatures outside led to an uncomfortable experience.

Ten Thousand Fists is the band firing on all cylinders and as I say when they are at their chugging, staccato heavy best they are great. Their version of The Sound of Silence is a great moment as is seeing the Apollo looking glorious with the lights in the air for The Light and Down with The Sickness is one of the best ways to close a show there is.

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Disturbed are great band with some great music but they were unfortunately outdone by the mighty Skindred.

See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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