Photos: Chris Besaw
Review: Kelly Besaw
Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin kicked off their co-headlining summer tour at the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, NY on July 9. The tour will include stops in more than 20 cities across North America. Alter Bridge and Saint Asonia joined as special guests.
First up was Toronto’s Saint Asonia lead by former Three Days Grace front man Adam Gontier. Saint Asonia released their debut self-titled album in 2015. Since then, they have toured with Motley Crue and Alice Cooper and more recently opened for Disturbed on some of their Canadian tour dates. Their single “I Don’t Care Anymore” has gained some traction and has been featured on Vevo and Spotify. Check out more about Saint Asonia here: http://saintasonia.com/
The next band up was Alter Bridge. Alter Bridge brings a powerhouse lineup with Myles Kennedy on lead vocals/guitar, Mark Tremonti on lead guitar, Brian Marshall on the bass and Scott Phillips on the drums. Alter Bridge got the audience going with their short but dynamic set that included “Isolation,” “Come to Life,” “Addicted to Pain,” “Blackbird,” “Cry of Achilles” and “Rise Today.”
Co-headliner Breaking Benjamin took the stage next. The crowd filled in quickly as the first notes of “So Cold” hit the air. Breaking Benjamin released a new album in 2015, Dark Before Dawn. The album reached number one on both the Billboard 200 and the alternative and rock charts. The album proves that the newly formed Breaking Benjamin lineup is still strong and can produce hit singles. In fact, I forgot how many hit singles Breaking Benjamin has until they starting ripping through one after another: “Sooner or Later,” the new hit single “Angels Fall” and “Blow Me Away.” They took a brief break from their hits to pay tribute to some of their personal favorites kicked off by the “Imperial March” theme from Star Wars. They teased some short clips of “Schism” by Tool, Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” and “Walk” by Pantera. Then it was right back to the hits, “Blow me Away,” “Polyamorous” and “I Will Not Bow.” Lead singer Ben Burnley showed a lot of love to the fans, thanking them profusely and alternating between devil horns and a heart symbol. The band ended with fan favorite “The Diary of Jane” and Ben Burnley told everyone that he hoped to come back to Syracuse again soon.
Set list: So Cold, Angels Fall, Sooner or Later, Blow Me Away, The Imperial March/Schism/Smells Like Teen Spirit/Walk, Polyamorous, Ashes of Eden, Breath, Failure, Until the End, I Will Not Bow, The Diary of Jane
It was time for the final band of the evening. Before taking the stage, Disturbed got the crowd primed with a highlight video showing footage that spanned their expansive career. The message: “Music is a Weapon” was repeated throughout the video and set the tone for the band’s powerful set. Disturbed took the stage amongst an onslaught of impressive pyrotechnics and opened with “Ten Thousand Fists.” Everyone had a fist in the air as front man David Draiman commanded the audience to do his bidding. Draiman is one of the most authoritative lead singers in the business. There is something about his voice, his presence and his words that make the crowd take notice. Disturbed’s set was also full of hits, “The Game,” “Liberate,” and “Stupify” got the crowd revved up. They slowed things down a bit and Draiman showed the fans that he has serious vocal talent with their cover of the Simon and Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence” off their 2015 album Immortalized. Looking back from the pit, all that could be seen was a sea of glowing cell phone lights and some lighters swaying in the air.
The fun continued with more pyrotechnics and more hits, “Stricken,” and “Indestructible” before the evening ended with Draiman calling on the fans one more time with his signature mantra, “my brothers, my sisters, my blood…we are all Disturbed” and the fans responded by going crazy as the band performed “Down With the Sickness.”
Set list: Ten Thousand Fists, The Game, The Vengeful One, Prayer, The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover), Inside the Fire, The Light, Stricken, Indestructible, Voices, Down With the Sickness