WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
Monday, January 29 marked the return of metal band Disturbed to Nebraska, as their Take Back Your Life Tour stopped in Omaha at the CHI Health Center, their first time playing the arena. Along with Falling in Reverse and Plush, it was a solid night for live music for a lot of people’s first concert of the year, including mine.
Plush was the opener of the night. This was the third time seeing them live, after seeing them open up for Mammoth WVH in Lincoln and then a couple of months later opening up for Slash in Kansas City. So, when I heard they were playing arenas with Disturbed, I was ecstatic. Lead singer Moriah Formica has a voice that carried throughout the arena. “So so honored to tour with Disturbed and Falling in Reverse,” Formica said to the crowd. Their signature cover of Heart’s “Barracuda” really won the crowd over. The whole band was on their A game. I was impressed with their “new” drummer Faith Powell’s playing, my first time watching them play. Seeing a band like Plush gives me hope for the future of headlining arena-level rock bands. They have songs that fit well with arenas. If they keep on making music on that sonic level, they will be going places. Check out their latest EP, Find the Beautiful.
Falling in Reverse was the direct support of the bill. I saw these guys for the first time open up for Avenged Sevenfold in Kansas City last year, so I have a good grasp on whom these guys are. Say what you will about Ronnie Radke, whether he is a “villain” or not of the heavy music scene, you have to respect the level of showmanship he brings to the stage. With catchy hooks and melodies, Falling in Reverse brings a level of pop-punk to their respective heavy music. “We don’t come here often. A lot of people are very happy right now”, said Radke. It was awesome seeing drummer Luke Holland get his flowers as he has been hitting skins professionally for a while. The excitement continued throughout their set from the crowd with Radke mentioning, “You guys are getting really hyped right now.” Ronnie Radke had the crowd even do breathing exercises, which was interesting. They ended their set with “Watch the World Burn” a rap-filled, pyro-magic extravaganza that had everyone losing their minds. I could see Falling in Reverse headlining venues like CHI Health Center in the future. It was a very impressive showing by them. They have been putting out singles lately, but keep an eye out for the Neon Zombie coming out sometime this year.
And finally, the mighty Disturbed were ready to bring the house down. I loved the silhouette aesthetic with each band member with the curtain before it dropped, and the band kicked into “Hey You”. We were off and running! The Disturbed camp are pyro masters. They had these horizontal fireplace-inspired pyrotechnics. It looked like they stole the one outside of the Hilton across the street and cloned a couple of them. Lead vocalist David Draiman knows how to command a crowd. He is one of the most underrated rock vocalists of all time, and he should be praised for it. Draiman powerfully proclaimed, “My brothers, my sisters, my blood, SPEAK TO ME!!!” Before they kicked into “Bad Man”, Draiman mentioned it being nominated for the upcoming Grammys for it, their third Grammy nom ever, hoping they would get their first win. “Reason to Fight” was a standout moment of the night, with Draiman proclaiming to the crowd, “You’re my reason to fight.” He had this incredible motivational speech, including saying, “Your strength of will is more powerful than you realize.” Each member had their respective instrument solo, a fun way to showcase their musical talent. Another amazing moment of their set was Draiman inviting Plush singer Moriah Formica to sub in for Heart’s Ann Wilson on “Don’t Tell Me”. Incredible vocal performance from them. Then, David Draiman invited this mom and daughter on stage, who happened to see him purchasing some Omaha Steaks earlier that day, to watch them perform “The Light”. They ended the night with a one-two punch of “Down with the Sickness” and “Inside the Fire”. For 25 years, Disturbed has been crushing it both in the studio and on the road. As elder statesmen of the heavy music scene, they are still sound incredible live and look good doing it.
Falling in Reverse
All images © Robert A Chadwick | Robert Chadwick Photography
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