System Of A Down have closed out their epic Wake Up The Souls world tour with a landmark performance in Armenia. The experimental rock juggernauts played live in their country of origin for the first time ever, and documented the experience with an official live stream.
System embarked on the tour itself (which sadly never reached Australia) to raise awareness about the Armenian genocide which killed over a million people and dispersed countless more across the globe 100 years ago.
To cap off the tour, the band, whose members are all of Armenian descent, put on a free show in Yerevan’s Republic Square, where they played for nearly two-and-a-half hours and delivered a whopping 37-song set.
“In Armenia, our status is unparalleled,” frontman Serj Tankian told Rolling Stone. “I don’t want to use any monikers like the Beatles or anything, but it’s a unique kind of thing. So we want to go there and play for the people, which we’ve never done as System of a Down.”
Tankian, whose music is often tied to political or social messages, also said the tour was about more than remembering and seeking reparations for the country’s horrific 1915 genocide. “Part of it is bringing attention to the fact that genocides are still happening,” he said. “Whether you use the word ‘genocide,’ ‘holocaust’ or ‘humanitarian catastrophe’. None of that is changing.
“We want to be part of that change. We want the recognition of the first genocide of the 20th century to be a renewal of confidence that humanity can stop killing itself.”
Their impassioned Armenian performance is unlikely to be the last we see of System Of A Down, with the band recently confirming that they’ve also started writing new material together.
Watch: System Of A Down – Live In Armenia