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Music as a Weapon Tour – 2009

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews

maawMusic as a Weapon Tour 2009
Disturbed, Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil,
Chimaira & More

May 1, 2009
Target Center – Minneapolis, MN

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Reviewed by:  Justin

I headed to the Music As A Weapon 4 tour at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Friday night. There’s nothing better than a concert on a Friday or Saturday night. This was no normal concert, but instead a lifestyle event. Not only was there the second stage set up outside before the venue opened, but there were booths with vendors, tattoo artists, and a lot more. The weather was warm, but it was lightly sprinkling most of the afternoon, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time or stop the bands from rocking their asses off.

The bands on the second stage were Suicide Silence, Spineshank, Bury Your Dead, Crooked X, Born Of Osiris, and After The Burial. We were going all over before the doors opened, so I skipped most of the second stage bands, except for Crooked X and Bury Your Dead, and both were awesome.

Crooked X is a hard rock band from Oklahoma. These guys started the band as 5th graders and are high school freshmen now! But they’re skilled beyond their years and they’ve toured with some really REALLY big names before. I really dug the songs “Gone”, “Adrenaline” and “You Gotta Bleed”. They had good charisma and crowd interaction on stage except for one situation. Maybe they were really tired or had too much Coca-Cola, but after the third song of the set, the lead singer Forrest (who also has the start of perfect 80’s style poodle hair) did the usual “Are you guys ready for some heavy metal?” schtick that some bands do. It’s good and all, except after the song he said he had one question for the crowd and was about to ask the same thing until he caught himself and just said he forgot what he was going to say. Minor blip in an otherwise solid stage show. I hope this band stays together, doesn’t get caught up in drugs or big egos, and makes it big. They have the skills and the potential – and time is definitely on their side. I’ll give them a B+.

The other band we saw on the second stage was Bury Your Dead, and they were definitely the best band out there… just ferocious on stage, including Myke Terry on lead vocals. The way they pumped up the crowd, even when it was steadily raining by that time, was impressive. They’d have the second best circle pit of the entire show, next to Killswitch Engage. The first single “Hurting Not Helping” off their new album “It’s Nothing Personal” (which comes out May 26th – they said it only about 16 times) is a pretty damn heavy song, but a little more “radio friendly” than their past work with Mat Bruso on vocals. Some fans referred to them as “Bury Your Slipknot”, but I thought “BURY YOUR %!@*^&# DEAD!” should have made it to the main stage. Maybe next time. BYD gets an A- on the day.

By this time we were headed back into the Target Center. Chimaira started out the show and got the place going. Even though we weren’t on the floor and away from the circle pit (which was one of the highlights of the show), we were close enough to witness the mayhem first hand. Their set list consisted of “Power Trip”, “The Flame”, “Secrets of The Dead”, “The Dehumanizing Process”, “Destroy And Dominate” and “Pure Hatred”. I’d give them a solid B or B+ overall. Awesome opener, and they could have even been second on the bill ahead of Lacuna Coil.

Chimaira

Chimaira

Lacuna Coil was up next. Being the band I’d seen the most times before this show, I knew somewhat of what to expect from them. Cristina is always top notch and a great vocalist, even on the new material, which sounds a little more like Linkin Park to me (or Lacuna Park). You could drop Andrea and add in Chester and wouldn’t miss a beat. Actually, I might like them a LITTLE better then. I know that the dynamic between Cristina and Andrea is one of the “highlights”, but I really wish he’d drop in the background, stay on keyboards or something, and let her take over on all the vocals. I just can’t get into him. They started the set with “To The Edge”, a good head-banging start to their show. “Fragments Of Faith” would follow, and then “Spellbound” off of the new album “Shallow Life”. “Fragile” would be next, and it was kind of cool watching Cristina annotate with hand signs parts of the song that Andrea was singing. Then again, she could just have picked her nose and I’d still be enthralled. One of my favorites “Our Truth” would close out their set, which was solid overall. I’d have liked a track from “Comalies”, but I know with four bands in the lineup, the second band doesn’t have the luxury of time. I still give them a B+ and still dig them after all these years.

Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil

Killswitch Engage would take the stage next and they… blew… us… away. The definite highlight of the night. They fed off the crowd’s energy, and vice versa. Guitarist Adam D was the comical highlight of the night. He was clad in clothing that looked like he just finished working out at Lifetime Fitness or something (headband, shorts, running shoes, etc). Instead of the usual stage banter that bands tell the crowd, Adam asked the crowd “ARE YOU READY TO LET ME USE YOUR GIRLFRIEND’S FACE AS A URINAL?” and then the place exploded. By that time, most of the guys were probably wasted enough that they wouldn’t have cared. I heard “A Bid Farewell”, “Fixation On The Darkness”, “Rose Of Sharyn”, “This Is Absolution”, “The Arms Of Sorrow”, “My Curse”, and “Holy Diver” in their set. I missed a couple songs, and there was a new one, which I would later find out was “Light In A Darkened World (Choose This Day)” from the upcoming album due out in late June. KSE would be the pinnacle of the show to me. Every band (including Lacuna Coil) would have a circle pit, but KSE had the majority of the floor in the circle pit. There weren’t many innocent bystanders, and security was working for their paychecks catching crowd surfers. They didn’t end up using my friend Jasmine’s face as a urinal, but I went home later that night and downloaded all their music I didn’t own yet (legally, of course). I can’t wait to see them again. They get the only A of the night.

Killswitch Engage

Killswitch Engage

The band we were all there to see was next, DISTURBED. I think my expectations were too high for them before the show since I hadn’t seen them live, or maybe it was just late after seeing 9 or 10 other bands before them, but I was a little letdown. They had an awesome stage set-up though and David Draiman would descend from the ceiling on their classic logo, which made the place go insane. My favorite Disturbed song “Voices” would start out the set. They had a perfect balance between the classics (“Liberate”, “Prayer”, “Remember”, “Stupify”, “Ten Thousand Fists”, and of course “Down With The Sickness”) and new songs off of “Indestructible” (title track, “Inside The Fire”, “The Night”, and “Criminal”). I love everything they’ve put out so far, so it worked well. I was disappointed because David Draiman looked like he was going through the motions for most of the set. Maybe it was a bad night or they’re a little worn at this point of the tour. He’d walk to one side of the stage, walk to the other, walk behind Mike (drums), and do it over again, ; very little spontaneity outside of a couple of breaks between the songs with his stage banter. I know that if he wasn’t in Disturbed that he might have gone to law school, but he could have been a preacher as well with the rock sermons he was giving the crowd. All in all, they had a good set. I was just guilty of high expectations and thinking they could outdo Killswitch Engage. They get a solid B on the night.

Disturbed

Disturbed

All in all, this was a great experience and an awesome show. Overall I give the entire experience an A- with quite a few A moments, so let’s say 4 out of 5 stars. Between the tattoo artists (Hart & Huntington, Intense Creations, Oliver Peck, etc.), the vendors, and the bands, it’s one show that I won’t soon forget, as you can tell by my earlier reminiscing. (Damn, only 72 hours ago we were just getting to our seats!) For the price of the concert, it’s well worth the EIGHT HOURS of music, vendors, tattoos, and everything else. Sell your soul to rock n’ roll for a day and GO!

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