System of a Down holds ‘Souls’ benefit concert

Daily Sundial

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The multi-platinum record selling band, System of a Down, held its third annual “Souls” benefit concert on Sunday, April 24 at the Universal Amphitheatre. Tickets were sold out within minutes, but I was lucky enough to be there.

Being a devout System of a Down supporter, I have been familiar with them since 1998, attending local Los Angeles shows, which first caught my attention. Now, they have ripened into the fruit of absolute artistry and gained a hearty fan base.

About 8,500 impassioned fans filled the walls of the amphitheatre generating excitement.

The concert was held on the 90th anniversary of the day Armenians commemorate the Armenian Genocide. The proceeds from the $45 tickets of the concert went to various Armenian charities.

The band is comprised of four members: Shavo Odadjian, bass; Serj Tankian, vocals; Daron Malakian, guitars; and John Dolmayan, drums, all of whom are of Armenian descent.

Prior to their stage entrance, informative video-clips were presented regarding the genocide then exhibited the unrest of the Armenian people. The show was held in recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Thereafter, they made their way on to the stage, with quite a presence, creating a rise in the already thrilled crowd.

Although it is difficult to categorize their music, if I were to describe their musical style in one word, it would be “dynamic.” Others have classified it as jazzy music with a touch of Armenian and Middle-Eastern influence, a splash of funk, with a death-metal twist.

It is probably the most versatile, non-repetitive music I have ever experienced. Their songs can be interpreted as a vast number of things that range from politics, to culture, to everyday life.

My experience was only heightened with their live performance that was energetic and fun, leaving the crowd raising their fists and dancing in high spirits within the aisles.

These guys can really feed off the energy of the fans and give a notable performance. They blew me away.

They played songs from their new album, such as B.Y.O.B., which stands for “Bring Your Own Bombs,” from their new double CD Mezmerize/Hypnotize. The crowd was ecstatic and enraptured with the song.

Mezmerize hits the stands May 17 and the second album Hypnotize will be out sometime in the fall.

Among numerous songs they sang were some of their infamous songs such as Toxicity, Spiders and Chop Suey.

After hearing some of their more recent songs, I was left under the impression that these guys will be sticking around for a while.

Anyone looking to change their regular, humdrum choice of music should listen to System of a Down’s original, non-conforming music lyrics and style.

If you want to get a glimpse of their music and live performances, they will be the musical guests on Saturday Night Live on May 7.