Disturbed at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA

Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, and Jinjer deliver messages of peace, family, and mental health with metal mayhem on the Take Back Your Life Tour.

On a perfect 78-degree, pastel-colored Southern California evening, in the conservative Orange County enclave that houses the FivePoint Amphitheatre, the quiet surrounding neighborhoods normally filled with soccer mom vans and young families saw the pierced, tattooed, black denim and leather-clad fans of metal music congregate for the much anticipated Take Your Life Back Tour. It was a night of heavy metal that those dedicated fans will not soon forget.

The show started with Jinjer, the metal quartet hailing from the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Jinjer is quickly making a name for themselves on the international scene. The band’s sound is a mix of heavy metal and groove metal, and they put on a performance that got the early arriving crowd moving. The lead singer Tatiana Shmayluk had the fans enraptured with her voice as it drifted effortlessly from a melodic soaring cleans to a gravelly, razor blade gargling thrash metal growl. Tatiana showcased her prowess as a truly exceptional and enthralling  frontwoman. Despite being the opening act, Jinjer quickly proved that they were not to be overlooked.

The night progressed with Breaking Benjamin taking the stage next. The hard rock band from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is known for their anthemic songs, and they delivered on that promise with a setlist that included fan favorites like “So Cold,” “I Will Not Bow,” and “The Diary of Jane.” With a catalog of hits spanning two decades, the American rockers delivered a well-curated setlist that catered to the tastes of both longtime fans and newcomers. The band’s set included a little surprise, literally, as the young son of Benjamin Burnley “played” along with the band on his unplugged electric guitar. 

Finally, it was time for Disturbed to take the stage, causing the crowd to erupt in a deafening roar. The band’s iconic frontman, David Draiman, commanded the stage with an undeniable presence, his distinct baritone voice immediately captivating everyone in attendance.

Kicking off their set with the thunderous “Hey You,” Disturbed set the tone for a night of pure metal euphoria. Their signature blend of hard-hitting riffs and powerful melodies was on full display, amplified by a visually stunning production featuring several levels of moving pyrotechnics and mesmerizing light displays.

The band seamlessly weaved through their extensive discography, treating fans to classic hits like “Down With The Sickness” and the cover “The Sound of Silence,” as well as anthems like “Ten Thousand Fists” and their cover of “Land of Confusion.” The emotionally charged performance of “Hold On to Memories” dedicated to lost loved ones struck a deep chord, turning the amphitheater into a sea of swaying lighters and cell phone screens.

One of the night’s highlights came during an acoustic rendition of “Reason to Fight.” Followed by David’s suicide prevention speech with tributes to Chris Cornell (the night of the show was Cornell’s birthday) and Chester Bennington. The end of the speech seemingly drew Draiman to tears as he held his face in his palms. Also, not to be outdone in the family-themed stunts, later on in the set Draiman brought a young fan and his father up onto the stage for one song while each band member gave the young fan a gift of drumsticks and guitar picks. 

As the night drew to a close, Disturbed left the stage but returned for an encore that would go down in the annals of FivePoint Amphitheatre history. The crowd’s energy reached its zenith during the blistering performance of “Unstoppable,” “Down With The Sickness,” and “Inside the Fire,” leaving fans exhilarated and craving more.

In the end, the Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, and Jinjer show at FivePoint Amphitheatre was a testament to the enduring power of metal music. Each band brought their A-game, delivering performances that will be etched in the memories of fans for years to come. It was a night of unity, passion, and raw energy, proving that the metal genre continues to thrive and attract new generations of devoted followers.

Orange County bore witness to a metal spectacle like no other, and with the resonance of the night’s thunderous riffs still echoing in the hearts of all who attended, one thing is certain – the metal gods have smiled upon metal fans, leaving them anticipating the next headbanging extravaganza that will shake the very foundations of this iconic amphitheater.

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About George Ortiz 67 Articles
George is Southern California and Big Sky, Montana-based photographer. He grew up in Los Angeles and began shooting professionally in the mid 80s. His words and photos have appeared in local & national publications.