When I found out that I had the opportunity to go to the sold-out Disturbed concert at the Armory last Saturday, I didn’t know what to expect.
Despite spending the better part of everyday listening to metal, I had never heard anything by either Disturbed or Skindred, one of the opening bands.
However, immediately after arriving at the Armory I knew I would be in for a good time. Lined up in the cold for hours on end were the excited fans, hoping to get in before the concert ended.
This excitement carried on inside with Skindred, a reggae/metal fusion band from the UK. From the very first wail of the guitar to the handheld piano solo finale, Skindred had the crowd in a frenzy.
‘Everybody bounce!” lead singer Benji Webbe commanded throughout the show, and bounce everybody did. With the Armory packed with people, this was an impressive sight to see.
Despite being from the UK, the band seemed familiar with Rochester and the local radio station that sponsored the show. The band also spent a good amount of time interacting with the crowd, building the excitement for the night’s main attraction, Disturbed.
As the lights dimmed for the last time, a sole figure was wheeled out on stage in a straightjacket and muzzle Disturbed’s lead singer David Draiman. From here, the show only got crazier.
As packed as the Armory was for Skindred, twice as many people managed to squeeze in to see Disturbed.
From the front of the stage, the view was stunning. While I knew that the Armory could only hold 5,000 people, by the time Disturbed played the title Slow and extremely repetitive, the band followed a formula of finding one lick that was cool and repeating it over and over and over and over again. The band’s excitement, when it did break through in a few good moments, was subdued and lacking. I wouldn’t want to take the stage after the energy that Peyton showed. They could at least look like they were having a little bit of fun.
Maybe stoner rock, or what have you, really isn’t my thing, but I was not at all impressed by their set. They had a few moments where they started something that sounded like it might be cool and then would quickly fall back into another repetitive riff-fueled lull.
My high school jazz band played songs that were more exciting than their set, and I’m not sure if they were going for a jazz/funk style or more of a laid-back rock feel, but they fell short by any measures.
As they left the stage, I was worried when the same people took the stage again as the headliners, now under the name Clutch. And while this may be a personal pet peeve of my own, who opens for themselves? It seemed a little bit odd to see the same set of players take the stage again after warming up the crowd for themselves. It just didn’t sit right with me.
Thankfully, headliners Clutch did in fact turn things up a notch, the vocals being the only difference between the two sets (the Bakerton Group and Clutch are composed of all the same people, apparently). The performance was notably better than the slow grooves of the Bakerton Group, and the deep vocals added a much-needed dynamic to Clutch’s set.
That being said, Clutch still did not put on the energy I had expected from this long touring rock band.
I was also disappointed once I noticed that the band’s organ player, who made their most recent album stand out that much more, was gone from what I saw of this performance. I left early to catch the shuttle bus back to campus, but saw enough to know that Clutch’s performance was not holding my atention as the band’s long reputation of playing had me believe they, like the Bakerton Group, did not come close to the passion that Peyton played with previously.
The other aspect of Clutch’s show that bothered me was the lack of audience interaction and participation.
Where Peyton was urging members of the crowd to join in on choruses and yell at the top of their lungs, the two guitar players from Clutch stood with their eyes glued to their guitars and their fingers, never looking out to the crowd or giving any notice to the fact that people were watching them. Guys, if you are going to play live, know your licks, so you don’t have to give your fingers all of your attention. At least look up and out at the audience sometimes. It was a dramatic shift in playing styles for sure, but long-term fans of Clutch did not seem to mind one bit.
But as an outsider looking in, Clutch was just not holding my attention like I had hoped or expected. I’m not saying they were bad, just that I was left hoping for much more: More energy, more crowd interaction and more of Reverend Peyton.
Clark is a member of
the class of 2012.

Zumba in medicine, the unexpected crossover

Each year at URMC, a new cohort of unsuspecting pediatrics residents get a crash course. “There are no mistakes in Zumba,” Gellin says.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict reporting disclosures

The Campus Times is a club student newspaper with a small reporting staff at a small, private University. We are…

Time unfortunately still a circle

Ever since the invention of the wheel, humanity’s been blessed with one terrible curse: the realization that all things are, in fact, cyclical.