Disturbed and Three Days Grace bring the heat to CT and the Mohegan Sun…

Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT was buzzing with a palatable excitement. It was a Saturday night and the forecast was for snow changing to sleet but that didn’t deter a sellout crowd from attending the Disturbed concert. Not only was Disturbed playing the sellout venue, Three Days Grace was opening this powerhouse of a show in one of the premier concert venues in the state.

Canadian rockers, Three Days Grace formed 20+ years ago but they still attack the stage with the ferocity of a young, hungry, upcoming band trying to make a name in the industry. Clearly, they enjoy what they do and it’s no doubt those folks in attendance appreciated their enthusiasm. Lead singer Matt Walst ran around the wedge-shaped stage and hopped on and off risers as if he was attempting to get his week’s worth of cardio in. Even though the arena was large, Walst played up to the audience and tried to connect with them as if it was a small club. In fact, the whole band were doing their best to connect with their fans and they succeeded. Drummer Neil Sanderson often stood up behind his drum kit and encouraged the audience to get vocal, which they did. Meanwhile, bass guitarist Brad Walst and guitarist Barry Stock showered the folks near the stage with guitar picks as legendary Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielson has been doing for years. They hit the stage prepared as their microphone stands had several dozen picks taped to them and they seemed to take delight in playing “pick Santa” for their fans. Their set consisted of songs from throughout their life as a band with “Animal I Have Become” morphing into a great rendition of the White Stripes’ song, “Seven Nation Army”. All in all, Three Days Grace played as if they were the headliners of the show and it’s easy to see why their fan base is so loyal.

Disturbed came out showing off their latest release, Evolution, with their hard hitting “Are You Ready” and the crowd responded wildly. Lead singer David Draiman’s voice cut through the wild cheering and reverberated through the arena. The entire band was clad in black with drummer Mike Wengren, bassist John Moyer, and guitarist Dan Donegan all sporting sleeveless t-shirts with Draiman wearing a full length black trench coat which was removed shortly with good reason. Not only do the three musicians out in front roam the stage voraciously, the pyrotechnics used could be felt in all corners of the venue so they must be unbearably uncomfortable on stage but no one can tell as they work through their set like a hot knife through butter.

The stage was set up with a huge video screen behind the band showing various video clips as well as videos of the band as they were performing. At various points in the set, the aforementioned pyrotechnics took over as the focal point of the show. A slight malfunction had one of the stage crew hit the stage with a fire extinguisher but the band carried on as the true professionals they are. Midway through the show, the band left the stage and a couple of PSAs were played over the sound system. One was addressing the substance abuse hotline and the other addressing the suicide prevention hotline which tied in with what was to follow. The band reappeared on a small stage adorned with candles that was set up at the rear of the arena floor next to the sound board. The band said they wanted to get intimate with their fans and that they did. They performed “A Reason To Fight”, which the prior PSAs related to. They returned to the main stage to perform their hard-hitting rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence”, which was accompanied by strings and a grand piano which joined in on the pyrotechnics aspect of the show with a row of flames emanating from within.

When the band came out for their encore, Draiman called a young lady and her friend from the audience onto the stage. It seems that the young lady had met the band during the evening’s meet & greet session with the band and Draiman remembered that the young lady is a classically trained singer who wants to break into rock just as Draiman himself did. He gave her a chance to show off her talents and she did so quite admirably. Another part of the audience participated in the show no doubt unnoticed by many. As with all good metal shows, there was a hard-core group who were moshing throughout most of the songs. Once the show closer “Down With The Sickness” started, the mosh pit swung into high gear and tripled in size. It was a non-violent pit and by the faces of those who were involved, a good time was had by all!

Disturbed performed a high energy show from beginning to end with even the slower songs emanating a riveting amount of power which captivated the audience. A vast majority of the crowd stood for their entire set and followed along with commands to clap, sing, and display lighters or cell phones when directed. With Three Days grace starting things off, it was a show not to be missed and those in attendance were no doubt happy they ignored the forecast, which was as usual, wrong.

The Days Grace Setlist

  1. The Mountain
  2. The Good Life
  3. Home
  4. Pain
  5. Infra-Red
  6. Painkiller
  7. Break
  8. Right Left Wrong
  9. I Hate Everything About You
  10. Animal I Have Become / Seven Nation Army
  11. Never Too Late
  12. Riot

Disturbed Setlist

  1. Are You Ready
  2. Prayer
  3. The Vengeful One
  4. The Animal
  5. Stupify
  6. Voices
  7. Land of Confusion
  8. Hold On to Memories
  9. Ten Thousand Fists
  10. The Game
  11. A Reason to Fight
  12. Watch You Burn
  13. The Sound of Silence
  14. Indestructible
  15. Inside the Fire

Encore

  1. The Light
  2. Stricken
  3. No More
  4. Down With The Sickness

Photos and Review by Rich Russo

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