System of A Down did not disappoint. They were just awesome - a phenomenal combination of melodic thrash, punk metal, spirituality, politics and silliness. They played almost the entire "Toxicity" and "Mezmerize" discs. There wasn't a single song I had hoped to hear that they didn't take care of. Since they have so many short songs, never wasted time with even a single solo, and didn't ever take a break or encore, it felt like they played at least 50 songs. Especially when compared to opener The Mars Volta whose never ending jams made me think of Black Sabbath crossed with The Grateful Dead with Minnie Mouse singing. In their hour long set, I think they played two songs. I could appreciate the musicianship but it just became background music to me.
SOAD on the other hand, grabbed the audience by the throat right from the start and never let go. The show featured an open, sparse stage with some cool LED light displays capable of tons of patterns and colors. They did a couple verses of Neil Young's "Rock and Roll Will Never Die" before playing a new tune "Kill Rock and Roll". The new album, "Hypnotize" comes out in November and they undersold it calling it just like "Mezmerize" but with different songs. The sound was great - nice and loud but still clear and all the harmonies were right on - except maybe on "Question!", the current single. During its softer parts voices sounded a bit out of tune, but it was probably the 10,000 tone deaf fans who often drowned out the band during their rare softer moments. Later they played a bit of Dire Straits' "Sultans Of Swing" which was very cool, especially with the lyric change: "we are the system of a down." Just a great high energy, crowd singing, psychotic show. System is one of the very best bands to scream along to, I was just exhausted by then end (still am). And the people I met at the show left early! LOSERS!
SOAD Set list:
KILL ROCK N ROLL
THIS COCAINE MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I'M ON THIS SONG
LOST IN HOLLYWOOD