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Live Review: Disturbed w/ Twelve Foot Ninja @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre


Last Tuesday night may have been relatively innocent for most, but for thousands of black clad, super-charged Brisbanites it was the end of a five-year wait for heavy metal pioneers Disturbed to finally return and unleash their ‘sickness’. Not since their 2011 hiatus have Aussie fans seen the quartet in live action, and because it was the last show in their ‘Immortalized’ tour the Brisbane Entertainment Centre was crawling with absolute mayhem.

Kicking off the night were Melbourne djent metallers Twelve Foot Ninja, who rocked out a mini repertoire of hits along with tracks from their latest monster of an album ‘Outlier.’ The crowd was immediately drawn in by their eccentric fusions ranging from jazz metal breakdowns and funkified grooves to flamenco-plucked hooks and Indian-style guitar.

Frontman Kin Etik, complete with ninja pants, turned into a vocal chameleon as he effortlessly transitioned from smooth falsetto, coarse whispers, and beastly screams while simultaneously whipping his hair like a human wind machine and busting out theatrical full bodied movements.


He may have been supporting heavy metal royalty but Etik didn’t forget his aunt on her birthday, making a quick video of the entire crowd yelling out their best wishes. Before leaving the stage the lads promised a headline tour was coming in the New Year.

After the Disturbed waiting game proved almost unbearable the lights finally flickered out and the first carnival-esque notes of instrumental number The Eye of the Storm pierced the air. Thunderous applause competed with the speakers as the black threaded rockers appeared, frontman David Draiman looking every bit like a dark reverend welcoming sinners to hell.

This image was only heightened when they smashed into Immortalized and 20-foot flames shot up from the stage, radiating so much heat it seemed like moshers were at risk of getting singed. Dry ice and one mother of a light show completed the devilish visual aesthetics. Next up was manipulation-basher The Game and sinister anthem The Vengeful One, in which fans responded by singing along with Draiman’s guttural pipes at the top of their lungs.


The pierced bald singer adopted a hybrid role of preacher/commando as he warmly referred to the crowd as his “brothers and sisters” before demanding fists in the air and triggering screams with just a raise of his hands. During several instrument breaks he also played conductor to drummer Mike Wengren while guitarist Dan Donegan played each chord with vicious intent and John Moyer ripped into his bass as his dreads flung about like Medusa’s snakes. 

By the time the 4-piece launched into catchy new single Open Your Eyes daredevil fans were trying their luck at crowd surfing, but were always eventually thwarted by security. During ol’ skool hit Stupify, Draiman lead a filthy language sing-a-long before blasting his trademark percussive-style vocals during the chorus.

A violinist and cellist joined the rockers on stage during a brief interlude where all instrumentalists sat on stools to play melancholy lullaby Darkness, as Draiman bewitched the audience with his powerful vibrato-laced belt. The performance was enhanced with thousands of lighters and phones illuminating the venue like tiny stars, which continued on for their recent cover of The Sound of Silence. The combination of Draiman’s vulnerable rich baritone and seeing Donegan on piano made it a unanimous crowd winner.


The guys were back in explosive action during Inside The Fire, where Draiman flaunted his evil cackle. A razor-edge guitar solo and the return of the pyrotechnics made hell an almost tangible entity that very moment (except everyone was having too much fun). The Light steered the atmosphere to a more uplifting note as everyone flicked on their phone lights in time with the sung title.

As standard gig protocol, the rockers indulged their fans with a satisfying encore beginning with the fast-paced brutality of Voices and followed by Ten Thousand Fists, during which about 10,000 fists were raised in unison.

The quartet concluded with signature classic Down With The Sickness, complete with Draiman’s animalistic horror effects and freaky mommy monologue, encouraging the audience to get in some last minute thrashing. Draiman sealed the show with the mantra “Together, my brothers and sisters, we are Disturbed!”.


Draiman once said they bleed for their art when they’re on stage. Thier Brisbane show was proof of this and that Disturbed were unquestionably worth the five year wait!

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