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Disturbed with Breaking Benjamin and Jinjer Concert Review

September 2nd, 2023 (Noblesville, IN): Disturbed brought their “Take Back Your Life” tour to a thunderous close at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN on Saturday night. It was a night filled with headbanging, fiery performances and a rollercoaster of emotions.

First up was Ukrainian metal-core sensation, Jinjer. Fronted by the enigmatic Tatiana Shmayluk, they went from serene to sonic chaos in the blink of an eye, leaving fans in awe. The pit couldn’t get enough of their energy, setting the stage for what was to come.

Next in line — Breaking Benjamin, a band that’s been shaping rock music since their 2006 album, “Phobia.” The venue erupted as they took the stage, with nostalgia washing over the crowd during hits like “Polyamorous” and “The Diary of Jane.” But it wasn’t just nostalgia that had the audience captivated; it was Ben Burnley’s incredible voice that truly stole the show. His signature raspy yet melodic vocals resonated deeply with fans, reminding everyone why Breaking Benjamin is considered one of the defining acts of 2000s rock. They served as the perfect appetizer for the main event.

As darkness fell, curtains dropped, and Disturbed emerged, the crowd’s anticipation was palpable. They kicked off with a bang, performing hits like “Hey You,” “Stupify,” and “Bad Man.” Pyrotechnics added to the heat, and the pit was a sea of excitement.

The emotional peak came during “A Reason to Fight,” accompanied by a heartfelt suicide prevention speech from David Draiman. He shared personal struggles and the loss of friends like Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell. His tear-inducing reasons for persevering, including his children and the audience, were profoundly moving.

Disturbed’s live show isn’t just about music; it’s about connection. Draiman’s emphasis on supporting loved ones battling addiction and mental health issues resonated deeply. Tears flowed, hands were raised in unity, and a sense of compassion enveloped the amphitheater.

Disturbed’s performance that night left attendees feeling empowered, with a newfound appreciation for life and a deeper understanding of mental health. From the emotional depths of “A Reason to Fight” to the unbridled chaos of “Down With the Sickness,” Disturbed bridged the gap between raw emotion and cathartic release, making it a night to remember, with Breaking Benjamin’s unforgettable vocals and stage presence serving as a highlight of the evening.

Writer: Kimmy Curry

Salt + Light Media Group




On this date in history, 7/29/2023, Pantera triumphantly returned to Noblesville, Indiana to play the second show of their North American tour at the venue currently known as Ruoff Music Center (but forever known as Deer Creek by all of us cool kids)! Lamb Of God provided main support and Snafu opened the show. 

The level of anticipation for this event cannot be overstated and the amount of online debate concerning the legitimacy of calling this band Pantera at all has been positively exhausting for a lot of fans. Last night put a lot of that debate to rest and rendered a lot of the arguments obsolete, because the 2023 incarnation of the legendary band came out and dropped an absolutely phenomenal show on the near capacity crowd. Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown, along with Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante (filling in for the late Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul) paid loving tribute to the beloved Abbott brothers and served up a collection of Pantera classics that thrilled the newer generations that never got to see the band in their heyday along with a large group of us old timers who still vividly remember why this band earned their reputation in the first place. Anselmo’s vocals were on par with when he was in his prime and his stage presence was self assured, confident, relaxed, and thankful. He was visibly moved by the outpouring of love and sheer volume of the Indiana crowd. Brown’s bass anchored the bottom end with authority and provided the musical interface between the past and present members, balancing tradition and a respectful interpretation from the new guys. Speaking of the new guys, both Benante and Wylde played the songs masterfully and managed to pay tribute to Dime and Vinnie while still maintaining their own distinct superstar personas. These guys are legends in the metal world, but they were enlisted to make this tribute a magical experience and they played their roles to perfection. Much credit is due to the stage crew, also. The staging, lights, and sound were absolutely fantastic. Massive respect to everyone on that stage in putting this experience together. Of course it doesn’t replace or erase the Pantera of the glory days, and that is perfectly okay. This current version of Pantera is fully alive and bringing a whole new audience the exhilaration of these amazing songs in a live setting, which is as it should be. Pantera was always designed to be best experienced in concerts, festivals, sweaty clubs and anywhere music fans gather to enjoy live music.

Lamb Of God played a tremendous set as well, getting everyone pumped up for the main event and vocalist Randy Blythe offered his own words of praise for Pantera and for the Abbott brothers specifically. Snafu did a nice job with their quick opening set and clearly relished the opportunity to be part of this historic show. 

This was a thrilling event that I had almost given up hope of ever experiencing again. I was fortunate to see Pantera four times from 1995 to 2001 and it is nearly impossible to overstate how important their legacy is to Metal music. Last night was triumphant and I salute Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown, Zakk Wylde, and Charlie Benante for bringing Pantera back and for such a loving honor to the lives of Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott and Vinnie Paul Abbott.

By Mr. Williams 


On this date in history, 8/7/2019, Heart brought the Love Alive Tour to Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN. Along with the Wilson sisters, we were rocked by stellar sets from Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Elle King. It was a smart move by the veterans to bring fresh new talent along for this all female front line tour, because Elle King got that crowd pumped up from the very beginning. I hadn’t heard much of her music prior to this show, but I was impressed with her powerful vocals, her energy, her easy rapport with the audience, and her musical diversity. Elements of rock, blues, country, and pop all weaved in and out of her songs that were born for the stage. Her song Ex’s & Oh’s is an anthem for certain. That one had the crowd in the palm of her sassy hands! I was an immediate fan watching her play a Flying V guitar that was nearly as big as she was…and handling it like a boss.

Speaking of bosses, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts wasted no time in asserting their badass brand of punk tinged hard rock. Jett is beloved nearly universally, and she effortlessly exudes cool confidence and sexy swagger. Even on the big screens, one can see that glint of playful excitement in her eyes, and it is as contagious as a rock ‘n roll epidemic. When she lights into Bad Reputation, Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah), and I Love Rock ‘n Roll, everyone in the venue feels like they are 16 again, at least in spirit. Heart proved beyond a doubt their legendary status with a sterling selection of their career spanning deep treasure chest of classic songs. Not content to just play their own stuff, Heart tossed in some absolute gems of cover songs, including Your Move by Yes, The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel, and an absolutely breathtaking tour de force rendition of Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Ann Wilson’s voice was a force of nature throughout, and younger sister Nancy played electric and acoustic guitars and mandolin with masterful intensity, contributing some lovely lead vocals and harmonizing beautifully with her sibling.

All 3 bands were comprised of men playing their roles with anonymous but fierce contributions; content to let the legendary ladies claim the spotlight. My only complaints about this show were that it was too quiet (crank it up!), and that the crowd on the lawn were too lazy to get off their lazy asses and feed these amazing artists with some well earned energy. Everyone sounded great, but it was almost like someone has decided that the audience is old and tired and might want to just sit in their trendy little lawn chairs and not have to deal with that loud rock music. I sure hope that doesn’t become the norm, because these artists deserve a better fate than that.

Review by Mr. Williams


Review by Brad Williams:

Riverfront Live in Cincinnati, OH hosted a triple bill featuring Jinjer, The Browning, and Sumo Cyco on October 12. It was my first time seeing all 3 bands and also my first visit to the venue. Riverfront Live is an intimate setting for live performances, with great lighting, sound and all around visibility. The bands were from diverse locations geographically, but all shared intensity and plenty of enthusiastic movement, traits that were definitely appreciated and shared by the sizable audience. Sumo Cyco hails from Canada and (like Jinjer) have a female lead singer with tons of charisma and a fearless attitude. Skye “Sever” Sweetnam entered the pit area in front of the stage several times and made a lot of friends in the process. She instructed everyone to get down on the floor and then proceeded to instigate a furious mosh pit as she made her way back to the stage. Her band was equally as energetic and basically never stopped moving.

Kansas City, Missouri natives The Browning followed with some hybrid styles of metal and EDM mixed into their own frantic blend. They were well received, also, keeping the mosh happy crowd revved up throughout their set. As good as the openers were, there was no doubt who the audience was there to see, and Jinjer brought their “A” game to finish the night with an electrifying, outstanding display of talent, confidence, and inspired song craft. Jinjer hails from Donetsk, Ukraine, and features a blend of many different styles, making their music both progressive and unpredictable.

Front woman Tatiana Shmailyuk possesses a set of seemingly indestructible vocal chords, and uses them to alternately sing beautiful melodies and switch to demonic gutturals in nearly the same breath. Jinjer’s musicians (guitarist, bassist, and drummer) all provide enormous amounts of dexterity on their respective instruments, weaving emotional landscapes that change in subtle and sometimes jarring combinations to suit Tatiana’s flights of vocal fancy. From the opening blast of Teacher, Teacher to the final chords of Cloud Factory, Jinjer had the place bouncing. They played a song called On The Top for the first time live and from the sounds of the response, it will become a regular fixture on their play list. Several other songs that really impressed me were Judgement (And Punishment), I Speak Astronomy, Retrospection, and Outlander. Jinjer returned for an encore, playing Pisces and Captain Clock, leaving the stage to a huge and well deserved ovation. Like the time I recently saw Avatar for the first time, I left this show feeling like I had just witnessed a band on the verge of blowing wide open. Jinjer is poised on the brink of some huge success…mark my words!


Alexis Faust also known as Alexis Briege is a 25 year old young woman who was born and raised in Mesquite, Texas. 12 years ago Alexis and her family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana; where she still lives with her Husband, Jakk Faust along with their 3 children.

All her life Alexis has been on stages; plays, choir, church, talent shows, she was born to be a performer! Growing up she had dreams that one day she would either have a family or actually be performing on stages performing original songs. Now, Alexis is now living out both of those dreams.

A huge artists that inspired Alexis to fulfill her dream was Amy Lee from Evanescence. How she was different, her music wasn’t like normal rock songs, Amy Lee had a very haunting sound that fit her songs perfectly. As Alexis has a more darker style with interest to more slower but rocker style music with meaningful lyrics. It’s always caught Alexis attention, especially at a young age As of right now you can find Alexis in two songs as a feature on YouTube: Jakk Faust ft. Alexis Briege-Me Big Po ft. Alexis Briege-Problems Currently Alexis is working on her solo album. In the meantime she is covering songs on Facebook.


On this date in history, 11/2/2019, Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago hosted a superb triple bill show featuring John 5 And The Creatures, Jared James Nichols, and Reverend Jack. The Invasion Tour 2019 was packed with amazing performances and featured one big time surprise guest artist. First things first…Reggie’s Rock Club is a really small, intimate and nicely set up place to witness live music, complete with top notch sound and lights. The visibility was excellent and contributed to the entire crowd being treated to that wonderful feeling of energy exchanged between performers and audience.

Reverend Jack started the night with an absolutely KILLER set of original bluesy Southern hard rock. These guys have so much potential to really break big. They are young, have great songs and energized stage presence, but most of all they have this singer named Eric Harmon, and he has one of the best set of pure rock vocal pipes I have heard in years. I knew before the first song was over that this guy has a special gift, and the fact that the lead guitarist and bassist add strong harmony vocal support just adds to the magic. Near the end of their set, they played a cover of Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band and made it a streamlined muscular slab of modern rock, complete with 3 part harmony a capella vocal intro…Bravo, guys! I expect them to do big things for a long time to come.

Next up was Jared James Nichols and his fiery blues based hard rock. Performing as a power trio, Nichols and company wasted no time in keeping the momentum going with tight playing and Nichols’ passionate vocals. His voice was a pleasant surprise for me, because I had only heard his guitar work prior to this show. I follow him on Instagram and knew he was a blazing lead guitar player, but his voice fit perfectly with his larger than life soloing. Nichols is a tall guy with a great head of hair that brings to mind the lion’s mane of Robert Plant in Zeppelin’s heyday, and between the hair and the animated faces he makes when he is soloing makes him super entertaining to watch. At the midpoint of his set, Nichols brought out a young man named Peter to play a song and it was a beautiful thing to see the joy radiating from Peter’s face. He proved to be a pretty good player, too, trading leads with Jared James and receiving a thunderous ovation from the appreciative crowd. This simple gesture of kindness, coupled with his obvious talents gained Jared James Nichols a big fan (me), or possibly a whole room of them.

John 5 And The Creatures finished the night with a jaw dropping display of musical muscle, navigating through a dizzying myriad of styles including metal, country, bluegrass, funk, and even a little jazz. John 5’s playing is breathtaking, full of precision, flash, and passion…and always emanating the man’s obvious love of the guitar. Featuring lots of Halloween themed stage props and a properly sinister light show, the insanely tight trio kept the pace moving at a breakneck pace. Midway through their show John spoke to us in several humorous song introductions and proved himself to be the humble and likeable person that could give Dave Grohl a run for his money in the Nicest Guy In Rock Music Sweepstakes. To our delight, Charle Benante, the supernaturally gifted drummer from Anthrax was at the show and joined the guys on stage for a crusher of an improvised jam session. John 5 delivered a fun filled medley of classic song intros featuring songs by Rush, Van Halen, Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, Kiss, Megadeth, White Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queen, The Police, PanterA, and even The Knack (remember My Sharona? lol). The band came out for an encore, and apparently had run out of songs, resorting to having to do one they hadn’t rehearsed (of course they nailed it!). I love shows like this one, with new discoveries and new venues. I first saw John 5 back in 1999 when he was with Marilyn Manson, and have seen him many times with Rob Zombie, but it was incredibly satisfying to see him stretching his wings and demonstrating his full potential as a guitarist and band leader. I will definitely be back for more of all three of these bands if I get the chance.

By Mr. Williams



On this date in history, 2/11/2020, I started my year of concerts with an inspiring club show by Machine Head. The Vogue in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis was the intimate venue for a rampaging 3 hour performance by the venerable metal band led by Robert Flynn. Machine Head were in town in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Burn My Eyes, which they played in its entirety during the second half of their marathon display of metal superiority. For me, personally, it was a revelation to see this band get such a great opportunity to stretch their musical muscles. I had previously seen Machine Head 3 times, but always as part of a festival setting, with constricted time limits.

I was beyond impressed at the endurance of Rob Flynn’s vocal chords. The man has a superhuman set of pipes, and definitely wasn’t holding back at any point in the show. During the first set, Flynn led the reconstituted lineup (last year, longtime lead guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain left the band) featuring Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka, drummer Matt Alston, and bassist/vocalist Jared MacEachern through a strong list of fan favorites that covered a wide range of material from various phases of the band’s career. Kieltyka, a veteran of bands such as Decapitated, Lux Occulta, and Vader, was particularly impressive, playing a mixture of lead styles with ferocity, complexity, and soaring tone that cut through the mix to perfection. Robert Flynn has grown into a pretty fierce lead guitarist, also, and he went toe to toe with his new partner in several thrilling displays of pyrotechnic guitar battles. Flynn is a master at getting the audience involved in the action, and he had the small but vocal crowd singing along at every chance, and incited boisterous circle pits throughout the evening. Some of the highlights from the first set included the massive opener, Imperium, savage versions of Take My Scars, Beautiful Mourning, Locust, I Am Hell (Sonata in C#), Aesthetics Of Hate, Ten Ton Hammer, and Halo.

My personal favorite was Darkness Within, where Flynn strummed chords and delivered a 7 minute speech that began on a lighthearted note and gradually became a passionate description of the power that music has to lift us out of depression, eventually beginning the song on solo acoustic guitar and then building into a colossal crescendo of power from the full band, ending with the entire audience vocalizing the melody of the song under Flynn’s direction…a totally breathtaking experience. After Halo closed the first act on an amazing high note of musical bliss, Flynn brought out original Machine Head members Logan Mader (lead guitar), and Chris Kontos (drums), to pulverize the faithful with a blistering gallop through Burn My Eyes. Kicking off with the massive tour-de-force Davidian, through other ragers like Old, A Thousand Lies, None But My Own, Blood For Blood, and I’m Your God Now, Machine Head consistently played as if they were headlining a stadium gig instead of a less than capacity club. Before the crushing finale of Block, Flynn and the boys treated us to a medley of Metallica, White Zombie, and Slayer classics that comprised Welcome Home (Sanitarium), One, Seek and Destroy, Thunder Kiss ’65, South Of Heaven, and Raining Blood, that was pure magic! At the end of the show, Machine Head brought out bags full of guitar picks commemorating the event, and made sure that most of the crowd got at least one. In truth, we got much more than that. We got an evening with a band that proved their love of music beyond all doubt, and delivered a performance of phenomenal power. By Professor Z.