SCRANTON — Disturbed made a grave mistake Friday night at the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain: It followed co-headliner Avenged Sevenfold to close out the Scranton stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival.
It’s not to say Disturbed didn’t put on a good show or that the estimated crowd of 13,500 didn’t eat up every “ah” lead singer Dave Draiman added to the end of nearly every lyric — Avenged Sevenfold was just a tough act to follow.
Before Avenged Sevenfold took the stage, a man appeared up in the rafters and, as the crowd watched, he jumped and “hanged” himself. As he dangled back and forth, the band kicked into an explosive version of “Nightmare,” the title track from its latest CD. For the next hour, the band was absolutely riveting with its incredible set that consisted of a cemetery-like fence before a backdrop that changed three times, tons of fire bursts and in-your-face music.
The hanged man was taken away on a gurney as the violent “Critical Acclaim” kicked in. The backdrop changed to a sinister skeleton for “Welcome To The Family,” which featured amazing drum work by Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, who stepped in after original drummer James Sullivan died of an overdose last year.
The melodic side of singer M. Shadows’ voice shined on “Buried Alive,” which preceded “So Far Away,” a song Shadows dedicated to Sullivan. Another set highlight was the anthemic “Afterlife” and the fast-paced “God Hates Us,” another “Nightmare” track. The band closed out its set with an electrifying rendition of “Almost Easy.”
From the stage theatrics to the metal licks and pounding drums, one can’t help but compare Avenged Sevenfold to metal masters Iron Maiden. The band pulverized the audience — and whipped them into a frenzy for Disturbed to close out the night.