Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin & Jinjer – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ – Friday, August 11, 2023
Review & Photos by Lori Schneider (IG: @LoriSchneiderPhotography)
Legions of metalhead fans gathered for a night of electrifying music with iconic heavy metal band Disturbed who brought their Take Back Your Life tour to Holmdel, NJ to kick off the weekend. Already a hot and steamy night, the band’s pyrotechnics doubled, even tripled, the tone for the rest of the night when they took to the stage. Their heavy metal sound rocked to a packed house.
Offering opening support for the tour was Jinjer, a Ukrainian metalcore band from Donetsk. Their official formation can be considered 2010 when Tatiana (Tati) Shmailyuk joined on vocals and Roman Ibramkhalilov picked up the lead guitar role. Other members include Vladislav Ulasevich on drums and Eugene Abdukhanov on bass. Let it be known that their 30-minute set did not disappoint!
Performing a 6-song setlist which included “Perennial”, “Vortex” and “Copycat”, it was obvious that their relentless hard work and chart-breaking releases have shown that they are truly one of modern metal’s hottest and exciting bands around today. Tati’s presence, vocals and showmanship along with the band’s incredible sound and musical proficiency show why they were voted the best Ukrainian metal band in 2013.
Jinjer can be found online at www.jinger-metal.com and on Instagram @jinjer_official
Breaking Benjamin, known for their powerful performances and emotive lyrics, took the stage next just as the sun was setting. Their 13-song setlist showcased their signature blend of hard-hitting rock anthems and poignant ballads. Members include Benjamin Burnley (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Shaun Foist (drums), Aaron Bruch (bass, backing vocals), Keith Wallen (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Jason Rauch (lead guitar). Also included at many shows as an honorary member is Benjamin’s son Ben learning the ropes from his dad.
Kicking off with “Failure” a burst of energy shot into the crowd instantly capturing their attention. Other songs performed included “Breath”, “Polyamorous”, “So Cold”, “Dance With the Devil” and “The Diary of Jane”. Frontman Benjamin Burnley’s distinctive vocals resonated throughout the venue. It was clear that the band’s energy, vocals, and masterful musicianship created an unforgettable experience for their fans. Their powerhouse in the rock genre remains as potent and relevant as ever.
Breaking Benjamin can be found online at www.breakingbenjamin.com and on Instagram @breakingbenjamin.
Disturbed, an American heavy metal band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1994. The band includes guitarist Dan Donegan, drummer Mike Wengren, lead vocalist David Draiman and bassist John Moyer. The atmosphere was already emotionally charged as the crowd eagerly awaited the moment that they took the stage with a curtain drop and pyrotechnics. The opening song “Hey You” filled the arena with David Draiman’s distinctive voice cutting through the air like a razor. His commanding presence and the band’s musical expertise garnered attention from the very first note.
Performing a 17-song setlist with a 3-song encore, the band’s musical precision along with shredding solos and thunderous beats created a wall of energy and power that reverberated through the venue. It was evident that they were feeding off the energy of their fans. Some songs performed included “Stupify”, “Are You Ready”, “A Reason to Fight”, Genesis cover “Land of Confusion”, “Down With the Sickness” and “The Sound of Silence”. Disturbed’s connection with the crowd was evident throughout the performance with David frequently engaging with the audience. Sharing very personal stories and expressing emotional gratitude for the fans and their unwavering support over the years, he delivered an exhilarating and moving performance.
Visuals of mesmerizing light patterns, pyrotechnics, and dynamic stage elements synchronized perfectly with the music and showcased an unforgettable performance. The night was a testament to the enduring power of their music and its ability to bring people together in celebration of the metal genre.