You are here
Home > MUSIC > CONCERT REVIEWS > Disturbed // Live @ Riverbend Music Center // 8.16.23

Disturbed // Live @ Riverbend Music Center // 8.16.23

Article & Photos by: Linda Carlson


Cincinnati, OH – Disturbed’s Take Back Your Life North American Tour 2023 marks the first full tour for the band since 2018.  The tour has featured a number of accompanying bands including Asking Alexandria, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Dorothy and others.  On this night (a rare, relatively cool respite for August), they were joined by Breaking Benjamin and Jinjer.

First to hit the stage was Jinjer.  Although this Ukrainian metal band was formed in 2009, none of the original band members remain.  The band considers their genesis as 2010, when lead singer Tetiana Shmailyuk joined.  She is a gem who bursts on stage and never lets up.  And I mean never.  Sleek in head-to-toe black leather, this firebrand blends fiercely dangerous force with a deceptively naïve edge.  An occasional glimpse of a smile cuts in direct contrast to her brutal guttural vocals.  The band’s set left the crowd wanting more.


Breaking Benjamin has been a favorite since they erupted on the scene in 1999.  Their music has received much attention and play, with songs like “Diary of Jane” and “Breath” resonating with mainstream rock as well as alternative metal crowds.  The band is Benjamin Burnley (vocals), Aaron Bruch (bass), Shaun Foist (drums), Jasen Rauch (lead guitar) and Keith Wallen (rhythm guitar).

A Breaking Benjamin concert is rich with the powerful songs that the audience connects to, with everyone singing along with a nostalgia and a remembrance.  It’s a powerful experience.  Unfortunately, band members stand mostly at a static microphone, limiting their movement, which is something of a drawback.  The overall experience would be raised even higher if band members moved more freely on the stage.  However, a shout-out to Shaun Foist for donning a Cincinnati Bengals jersey.

Breaking Benjamin

Disturbed’s set was amazing, visually, musically and as an overall experience.  David Draiman (vocals), John Moyer (bass), Dan Donegan (guitar) and Mike Wengren (drums) were on fire for the entire set.  And the set was literally filled with fire, as well.  The show’s production was spectacular with constantly moving arches comprised of trenches of fire above and behind the band, and vats of fire on the stage itself.  Fireballs shot into the air.

The set was well planned, with powerful songs (“Ten Thousand Fists”) intermixed with acoustics (“The Sound of Silence”) and amazing solos by all band members.


Draiman took breaks to talk with fans throughout the set, with a strong emphasis on mental health and suicide prevention.  He mentioned the loss of friends in the music industry (Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell), and shared that in February this year, he contemplated a similar fate.  “Do you know what got me here? My son, and each and every one of you!  You are attending the biggest group therapy session!”


Draiman brought Yvette Williams (a local) to share the stage with him.  They had met at a Pittsburgh Meet-n-Greet in 2019, where she redid the hook from a song on the Evolution album, and shared how the band’s music had helped her through addiction and depression.  Her life has turned around since then.  They hugged and sang together on stage.

Overall, a memorable night of rock.  The full set is below:

  • Hey You
  • Stupify
  • Ten Thousand Fists
  • Prayer
  • Are You Ready
  • Bad Man
  • A Reason to Fight
  • (Guitar Solo)
  • Land of Confusion (Genesis cover)
  • Perfect Insanity
  • (Drum Solo)
  • The Game
  • The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
  • (Bass Solo)
  • Indestructible
  • The Light
  • Stricken
  • Encore:
  • Unstoppable
  • Down With the Sickness
  • Inside the Fire

The tour is winding down, but there are still some shows left.  Take a look at the band’s tour schedule to see whether you can enjoy an evening of rock: 

Check out more images of the night’s performances in the image carousel below.

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.