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With Spineshank, Nothingface, and Mudvayne. Wednesday, May 9, at Nautica.

  • Disturbed
Young fans of the WWF are unlikely to be aware of big-time wrestling's small-time beginnings in the Georgia sticks, where nameless Nature Boys took on scurrilous Masked Marvels without the help of either T&A sideshows or pay-per-view production values. Likewise, fans of Disturbed -- the new metal quartet famous for a reworking of the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin theme song -- are unlikely to recognize that the sound of their heroes dates back decades -- if not to the San Francisco riff-a-roni of the '80s, then to the rusted-out U.K. of long ago. Sure, the kids know Black Sabbath, and they know Ozzy. But they have little if any idea of how much sonic audacity and working-class angst-filled metal was made before it became the harmless symbol of suburban rebellion that it is today. The sad fact is that metal, like wrestling, is older than it looks, and no amount of mock slang or street team marketing can save it from parodying itself. Take away solid stoner rock outfits like Nebula and creative heavyweights like Tool, and all that remains under the genre's heading are geezers like Disturbed, who've made Ozzfest a summertime clearinghouse for the clich´d outrage that's on sale at Hot Topic all year long. Indeed, Disturbed used its time on Ozzfest's second stage to prove its WWF-like ability to deliver the kind of predictable product that makes media conglomerates smile, complete with bondage references à la Judas Priest and clear-cut moralizing from the world of comic books, conservative politics, and well, pro wrestling. On its first headlining tour, the band will cart out a steel cage to replace the electric chair it pinched from its opening tour with Alice Cooper. And if this prop doesn't make the crowd mosh like the guys on Nitro, Disturbed can always rely on its Manson and Orgy-inspired update of Tears for Fears' "Shout."

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