Disturbed, Three Days Grace Ignite Wells Fargo Center In Philadelphia on Evolution Tour

Photo: Andrew Wendowski/Music Mayhem Magazine

We can’t help but say that the #EvolutionTour is the absolute perfect way, to sum up just how far a band like Disturbed has come in their career. Their latest record, Evolution, which is their seventh studio album, has more than proven that Disturbed has shown no signs of slowing down, as each album release has further shown just how much the band has matured through the years.

But we have to note that looking back to the release of Disturbed’s debut album, The Sickness, back in 2000, they have also managed to maintain the same level of raw energy and aggression within their music and are able to show the world that if we all join together as a family and use music as weapon against all that tries to hold us down, then we can overcome nearly anything life throws our way.

Once frontman David Draiman takes the stage, He immediately commandeers the audience and leaves us hypnotized from the beginning of the first song “Are You Ready” to the end of their encore song “Down With The Sickness.” We were also thrilled that during the band’s set on this tour long time band members bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Wengren were given some time to showcase their expertise with their incredible solos and further shining a light on their stellar musicianship. Of course, let’s not forget guitarist Dan Donegan who can shred with the very best of them and blows us away every time.

Over the last few years we have sadly witnessed an alarming amount of unexpected loss within the rock community with the tragic deaths of some iconic voice within rock music including Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) and of course Chris Cornell (Audioslave, Soundgarden) and more recently with the loss of drummer Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah/Pantera). Throughout Disturbed’s career, they have shared the bill with all of these incredible artists on the road and we can’t even begin to imagine the grief they feel after losing their friends and fellow musicians in ways that could have been prevented.

“Our world is plagued by an epidemic, by a disease that shows no mercy, the demons known as addiction and depression are very real. And they have claimed far too many of those we love, far sooner than they should have left us. Those still with us, are fighting a battle they wage everyday of their lives, keeping those demons at bay. It’s up to us to show them that they aren’t alone, that they have nothing to be ashamed of, That we understand, and that we will fight with them, and for them. For those you know, who are waging this internal war, the time to be a true friend and advocate and to intervene is now. To hesitate, is to lose a chance to save them you may never get again. The list of those who have been taken from is, is full of those who were so loved, so talented, and who are now so sorely missed. And not only those who are close to us, but also those who were close to you. As we consider each and every one of you, our brothers and sisters, our blood, to be our family with pride, to our memorial. Please join us in a moment of silence to pay respects to those we have lost.” -David Draiman 

We appreciated and loved that during their aggressive 2-hour set, Disturbed paid homage to those taken from us too soon with an amazing, heartfelt tribute with a emotion-filled performance of “Hold On To Memories” which included a slideshow of images that spread throughout the longevity of their career. The song was followed by an extensive message from frontman Draiman, reminding the nearly sold out crowd that there is help and assistance out there if you’re in need of it, showcasing the phone numbers for both the National Addiction (1-800-662-4357) and Suicide Prevention (1-800-273-8255) hotlines. The band continued their lengthy tribute by relocating to their b-stage donned with wooden benches, burning candles and a carpet for a more intimate setting with the fans as they were able to get closer to perform “A Reason To Fight” and “Watch You Burn.”

Disturbed then made their way back to the main stage to perform a beautiful rendition of their haunting cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic song “The Sound Of Silence,” which was complete with fog and a flaming grand piano making for a visual spectacular. The flames didn’t stop there and a highlight of the bands production would be after “Indestructible” during “Inside The Fire” when pyro illuminated the packed out venue falling from the ceiling, exploding from the stage and filling the background.

It was very impressive to see how Disturbed is able to blend their dark, violent themed music from their earlier discography’s with their more uplifting, softer but still very aggressive new material within their live set. Over the 2-hour set the band was able to power through songs from some of all of their rather lengthy discography, further proving the impressive longevity of their career.

Launching the evening was Three Days Grace, who was the perfect band to get the nearly sold out crowd off their feet for an energetic performance to kick things off in high gear almost immediately. From the launch of their set to the end of their set, the band didn’t slow down not even once interacting with the crowd, and the crowd absolutely adoring the set. Including the Three Days Grace hits in their set like “Pain,” “Break,” “Animal I’ve Become,” and of course the showstopping anthemic song “Riot.” Mosh pits were going hard and crowd surfers were flooding over the barricade and it was a delight to see, notably some of the most we have seen at Wells Fargo Center for years.

We highly recommend checking out the Evolution Tour as it was a force to be reckoned with tour with two bands that demand your attention live with a performance you will not soon forget, doing an incredible job at engaging with the audience and connecting directly with fans throughout the night including when Disturbed brought a child named Tom and his dad on stage to thank them for coming and joining the Disturbed family.

We overheard one guy in the audience in front of us complaining during Disturbed’s set that Draiman’s speech mid-set about those that we have lost over the years, as being a downer and it made us want to throw him into the mosh pit. People need to understand that more awareness needs to be made to these types of situations and we think that Disturbed is doing a fantastic job of doing their part of sending out the message to the masses they perform to each night by incorporating that within their performance. We were incredibly moved by the addition of this within their set as mental health is important and everyone knows someone who is currently struggling with depression, anxiety or addiction and should know that there is help. Disturbed’s big focus was on ways to evolve and using music as a weapon to unite has always been a big theme for the band and it rings truer today than it has ever done before.

We left the show with Disturbed’s message of hope, unity, some amazing stage theatrics/production, Three Days Grace’s addictive live energy, and the knowledge to know that if you know someone in need of help, you can help them and let them know that there is help if they need it.

The ‘Evolution Tour‘ for us was like taking a walk down memory lane, especially with the early material from both Disturbed and Three Days Grace and as Draiman pointed out music is the fiber that connects us to certain points in our lives and we truly feel a sense of family and belonging while watching these two amazing bands perform. The show exceeded our expectations and was an incredibly moving and visually spectacular night.

Photos of Three Days Grace and Disturbed by Andrew Wendowski:

Three Days Grace Setlist, HERE.
Disturbed’s Setlist, HERE.

View Disturbed’s tour dates, HERE.

About Kristyn Clarke

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