System Of A Down Live

The DDevil Is So Lovely

08/07/2012 - Verizon Center - Washington, D.C.

Lineup:

Daron Malakian: Guitar, Vocals
John Dolmayan: Drums
Shavo Odadjian: Bass, Backing Vocals
Serj Tankian: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards

 

Other Performers:

  • Deftones

 

Setlist:

  1. Prison Song
  2. Soldier Side - Intro
  3. B.Y.O.B.
  4. Needles
  5. Deer Dance
  6. Radio/Video
  7. Hypnotize
  8. Question!
  9. Suggestions
  10. Psycho
  11. Chop Suey!
  12. Lonely Day
  13. Bounce
  14. Kill Rock 'n Roll
  15. Lost in Hollywood
  16. Forest
  17. Holy Mountains
  18. Aerials
  19. Tentative
  20. Cigaro
  21. Suite-Pee
  22. War?
  23. Toxicity
  24. Sugar

 

Sources:

Source
Format
Quality
Complete
Length





 

Notes:

  • 2012 North American Tour.

 

Transcript:

 

Pics:

PhotobucketPhotobucket

 

Concert review: System of a Down, Trusts Stadium

By Chris Schulz

With his foot-long goatee and oversized hockey shirt, bassist Shavo Odadjian is stalking around the stage, staring down a rabid moshpit with the whites of his eyes.

Drummer John Dolmayan's arms are flailing as guitarist Daron Malakian belts out one riff after another, tipping his top hat to the crowd as he barks like a dog one minute and wails like a banshee the next.

Leading this thrash-metal circus is ringleader Serj Tankian, the Lebanese-born, American-raised Kiwi resident jabbing his finger in the air to punctuate his politically-infused rants that veer between operatic singalongs, spoken word sound bites and comical yapping.

How good is it to see System of a Down back in action?

The Los Angeles-based quartet haven't been here since 2005's Big Day Out, a performance marred by moshpit stoppages and underdone prog-rock experimentalism on the back of that year's ambitious double album release Mezmerize and Hypnotize.

But System proved to be in the form of the careers at a sold out Trusts Stadium, barely pausing for breath as they ripped through nearly 30 songs during an intense 100-minute show in front of what felt like a hometown crowd.

Like other 90s acts on the comeback trail, System - who spent three years on hiatus before regrouping in 2009 - aren't playing new material, instead cherry-picking hits from across their five albums.

Fans knew every word, from the opening sludge metal flurry of Prison Song, to Psycho's barked chorus and Tankian's furiously fast spitting over the military stomp of Revenga. Try doing that when you've had a few beers.

Not many metal acts can get away with mixing up so many styles, like the ridiculous pop chorus of BYOB ("Everybody's going to the party, have a real good time"), or the salsa breakdown in Radio/Video and the lounge room balladeering in Hypnotize.

But it all comes backed by some of the best thrash-metal riffage around. Tracks from their aggressive breakthrough album, 2001's Toxicity, turned Trusts Stadium into a giant trampoline and human sweatbox, like a frenetic Needles, the soaring Deer Dance, Bounce's perfectly-timed grooves and supercharged highlight Chop Suey!

That song saw a group of girls on the Trusts Stadium balcony perform coordinated dance moves, rubbing their eyes and cutting their throats in time with Tankian's lyrics.

And it was that kind of show, with strangers moshing together and high fiving each other over their favourite songs.

As set highlight Aerials kicked the show into overdrive, 4000 fans - half of them going shirtless to escape the sweltering temperatures - tried out their best Tankian impressions, prompting the obviously chuffed singer to remark, "I'm proud to call this place home".

After a performance like that, System of a Down are welcome back anytime.

By Chris Schulz

With his foot-long goatee and oversized hockey shirt, bassist Shavo Odadjian is stalking around the stage, staring down a rabid moshpit with the whites of his eyes.

Drummer John Dolmayan's arms are flailing as guitarist Daron Malakian belts out one riff after another, tipping his top hat to the crowd as he barks like a dog one minute and wails like a banshee the next.

Leading this thrash-metal circus is ringleader Serj Tankian, the Lebanese-born, American-raised Kiwi resident jabbing his finger in the air to punctuate his politically-infused rants that veer between operatic singalongs, spoken word sound bites and comical yapping.

How good is it to see System of a Down back in action?

The Los Angeles-based quartet haven't been here since 2005's Big Day Out, a performance marred by moshpit stoppages and underdone prog-rock experimentalism on the back of that year's ambitious double album release Mezmerize and Hypnotize.

But System proved to be in the form of the careers at a sold out Trusts Stadium, barely pausing for breath as they ripped through nearly 30 songs during an intense 100-minute show in front of what felt like a hometown crowd.

Like other 90s acts on the comeback trail, System - who spent three years on hiatus before regrouping in 2009 - aren't playing new material, instead cherry-picking hits from across their five albums.

Fans knew every word, from the opening sludge metal flurry of Prison Song, to Psycho's barked chorus and Tankian's furiously fast spitting over the military stomp of Revenga. Try doing that when you've had a few beers.

Not many metal acts can get away with mixing up so many styles, like the ridiculous pop chorus of BYOB ("Everybody's going to the party, have a real good time"), or the salsa breakdown in Radio/Video and the lounge room balladeering in Hypnotize.

But it all comes backed by some of the best thrash-metal riffage around. Tracks from their aggressive breakthrough album, 2001's Toxicity, turned Trusts Stadium into a giant trampoline and human sweatbox, like a frenetic Needles, the soaring Deer Dance, Bounce's perfectly-timed grooves and supercharged highlight Chop Suey!

That song saw a group of girls on the Trusts Stadium balcony perform coordinated dance moves, rubbing their eyes and cutting their throats in time with Tankian's lyrics.

And it was that kind of show, with strangers moshing together and high fiving each other over their favourite songs.

As set highlight Aerials kicked the show into overdrive, 4000 fans - half of them going shirtless to escape the sweltering temperatures - tried out their best Tankian impressions, prompting the obviously chuffed singer to remark, "I'm proud to call this place home".

After a performance like that, System of a Down are welcome back anytime.

Review:

System of a Down at Verizon Center

By Dave McKenna, Published: August 8

System of a Down seemed on the verge of taking over the hard-rock universe in 2005. The Southern California-born quartet recorded two critically beloved albums simultaneously and released them at nearly the same time, an audacious move previously pulled off by Guns N’Roses but perhaps no other guitar-based noisemakers.

Then, also a lot like GN’R, SOAD imploded while the takeover was taking place. The childhood friends from Los Angeles’s Armenian community suddenly and without any good excuse stopped recording and touring as a unit.

But with the full support of their fans, critics, heirs and accountants — not necessarily in that order — the band re-formed last year to rekindle the romance and reclaim the revenue left on the table as a result of its untimely hiatus. The comeback is not yet complete: For SOAD’s Tuesday show at Verizon Center, the set list depended strictly on old material, and a black sheet covered much of the arena’s utterly empty upper deck to shield the band from seeing just how many people didn’t show up.

But, those who stayed away were the losers. Layoff be darned, SOAD played 90 minutes of rock-and-roll as intense and theatrical as a mainstream act can deliver. The band’s shtick, and it’s an unbelievably fabulous shtick, remains the same from back in the day: On “Chop Suey” and several other tunes, SOAD came out of slow, show-tuney and Eastern-influenced melodic passages that featured lead singer Serj Tankian’s crooning by leaping into speed metal blitzes powered by bassist Shavo Odadjian and drummer John Dolmayan.

Throw in the comedic spins and goofy dance steps guitarist Daron Malakian executed while the fingers on his left hand ran all over his fretboard, and you’d have to go back to Queen to find as ambitious a combo of art rock and aggression in an arena band.

The crowd couldn’t have been more into the show. Tankian appeared overwhelmed at the amount of noise coming at him from the fans, who seemingly had memorized every time change and lyric at least as well as the singer.

During “Kill Rock and Roll,” the crowd bounced up and down with enough force to get the entire arena shaking in time with the blasts sent out from the stage. SOAD gets pegged as a political band, but other than a brief scream-filled tirade by Malakian about America’s failure to deal with its epidemic of lone-gunman mass killings, the band let its rock do the preaching. And the choir responded. Having thousands of kids shouting “Why don’t presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?” (from the anti-Iraq invasion opus, “BYOB”) while running into each other at full speed provided a roomful of ecstasy, the empty upper deck notwithstanding.

If there was anything to quibble about from the night, it’s that Tankian, for all the positive feedback he was getting from ticket buyers, wasn’t throwing himself into his work as much as he did in his pre-hiatus performances. While Malakian and Odadjian traversed the stage and head-banged at every turn, Tankian rarely strayed from his front-and-center spot. And his wardrobe of regular-guy jeans and a regular-guy gray T-shirt and a pair of regular-guy white tennis shoes clashed with the wholly irregular and grandiose music his combo cranked.

But so what if the singer could use a more theatrical wardrobe and a couple of 5-hour Energy drinks to keep up with what’s going on around him? System of a Down still delivers a fantastic rock-and-roll show, so fantastic that the global takeover they only threatened in the past decade might yet still happen.

McKenna is a freelance writer.

© The Washington Post Company 

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