Disturbed and Three Days Grace Bring Metal Excitement to the Forum

By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images

The new year of 2019 has only begun, and already Matt and I have been enjoying ourselves with a couple of shows. On New Year’s Eve, we rang in the New Year with Ozzy Osbourne and friends at Ozzfest, and we got our alternative hard rock mojos flowing with Adelitas Way at the Roxy. Next stop for us, we headed back to the famous Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It was once the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, and now that it has be renovated, bands/artists have been flocking to this arena to give fans a remarkable experience. From Korn to Stone Sour, Rob Zombie, Bruce Springsteen, and Ozzy Osbourne, concerts have never felt more alive than they ever been at the Forum lately. On January 11th, Matt, Tyler (Rockaholic), and I headed back there to see Disturbed and Three Days Grace. Joining us on this adventure was my Lady of Rock, Melanie. Disturbed has been one of the top metal acts for the past 2 decades, and Three Days Grace are post-grunge hard rockers from Canada who have over 14 #1 rock tracks in the U.S. A lethal combination for the Forum.

The boys from Ontario, Three Days Grace,  got things going with “The Mountain,” their first single off their newest release, Outsider. Ever since Matt Walst took over as frontman, he has been showing off his skills on the microphone, and giving the same energetic performance original frontman Adam Gontier was known for. He commands a loyal following from fans who have embraced him as lead singer. Lead guitarist Barry Stock, sporting his long trucker-like beard and trucker hat, was bombastic with his riffs and solos. Matt’s brother, bassist Brad Walst, thundered away with his impressive bass skills, and drummer Neil Sanderson dazzled us all with his precision and righteous chops. Three Days Grace performed for a good solid hour, playing to the fans hearts and ears. A majority of their material that night came from their 1st two albums, 2003’s Three Days Grace and 2006’s One-X. From “The Good Life” to “Pain,” “Infra-Red,” “Just Like You,” “Painkiller,” and “I Hate Everything About You,” they killed their set. Their last 3 songs came from One-X, and crowd went crazy for them, which were “Animal I Have Become” (featuring an interlude of White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army”), “Never Too Late,” and the ever popular “Riot.” All in all, Three Days Grace was full of rock ‘n’ roll grace.

Full Three Days Grace gallery below:

Disturbed ask us one question: “Are You Ready!?” We were all ready to get up and sing our lungs out with frontman David Draiman. Disturbed has been on a major tear ever since reforming in 2015, and they have continued on their journey of evolving as a band with their 7th release, Evolution. I viewed that record as a major improvement over 2015’s Immortalized. Draiman was a true showman that evening, having one of the most powerful voices in metal that sounds very well on both record and live. Dan Donegan was masterful on guitar, laying down heavy riffs that fans loved to hear. After performing “Stupify,” he went into an extended solo that was out of this world. After that, Disturbed played my all-time favorite song, “Voices.” Everything about that song, from the lyrics to the musical arrangements, makes it a true classic metal song. After performing the Genesis cover “Land of Confusion” and new ballad “Hold On to Memories,” bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Wengren ripped the roof off the arena with their solo numbers. Wengren is a wizard behind the kit, hitting the bass drum with such finesse, while Moyer is one of the most underrated bassists out there, hammering away some amazing bass licks. I always thought he was a better fit in Disturbed over original bassist Steve “Fuzz” Kmak.

After “The Game,” the group then moved on to another stage in the center of the arena, where they went intimate with “A Reason to Fight.” Disturbed has been getting a lot of crap about doing more ballads, but I actually enjoy them. This night marked the live debut of “Watch You Burn,” which was a hit with the Disturbed loyalists. Then came the song my Lady of Rock does not like, the Simon & Garfunkel cover “The Sound of Silence.” Bringing out a couple of cellist, Draiman dug deep down and gave us his sensitive side, all the while flashlights and lighters lit the room. It is one of the best covers out there, and I think after it was over, Melanie began to appreciate it just a little bit more than before. After that, it was back to a chaotic performance with “Indestructible” and “Inside the Fire.” After a quick break, Disturbed marched back out for a 3 song encore. Just before the start of the encore a young handicapped fan named Daniel was moved to the side stage thanks to Draiman, they performed “The Light.” Next marked the official live debut of their new song, “No More,” which is one of my favorite tracks off Evolution. Finally, they gave us the satisfaction of ending the night with the iconic “Down With the Sickness.”

Full Disturbed gallery below:

Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah! That was one of the best metal shows I have ever been to, excluding festivals. Disturbed made us get down with the sickness of their music, and Three Days Grace helped us start a riot. It is only the 2nd week of the New Year, and already we have been blown away by 3 stellar artists. That is the best way to kick off 2019, and it only getting started. To Disturbed and Three Days Grace, I salute you. Horns up!!!

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