Last Friday (15th October), System of a Down made their grand return to the stage for their first show since mid-2019.
The band’s first gig since the pandemic began took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and featured a wide-ranging, 30-song set that featured a slew of favourites from classic albums like Toxicity, Mezmerize and Hypnotize.
In amongst favourites like ‘B.Y.O.B.’, ‘Chop Suey!’, ‘Prison Song’, ‘Aerials’ and ‘Sugar’, System also performed 2020 singles ‘Genocidal Humanoidz’ and ‘Protect the Land’ for the first time.
Both songs were released in November of last year – marking the band’s first new music in 15 years – to raise awareness and funds for the predominantly Armenian people of Artsakh amid conflict with Azerbaijan and Turkey. The two singles raised over $600,000 for the Armenia Fund, to support those who had been impacted by the war.
“This one is one of the newer songs that we have,” guitarist Daron Malakian said when introducing the former. “It’s about some piece of shit government that tried, again, to kill our people. Fuck the genocidal humanoidz.”
Tankian shared similar sentiments before performing ‘Protect the Land’, saying: “About a year ago, the combined forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Syrian mercenaries attacked the peaceful people living in Nagorno-Karabakh, who have been living there, in their indigenous lands, for thousands of years. Those are our people.
“At the time, System of a Down put out two songs to help bring attention to the cause, and what we want to do right now is thank you, because you helped join our effort to raise funds and bring attention to this very important event.
Watch System of a Down perform ‘Genocidal Humanoidz’ and ‘Protect the Land’ below.