Flint Journal, MI
Sept 30 2005

Raw energy permeates SOAD's concert

By Nikki Poisson

DETROIT - There were no frills Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
There was no "I'm glad to be back in Detroit." There were no
self-serving guitar solos.

There were only 105 minutes of raw energy served up by one of today's
most thought-provoking bands, System of a Down.

A quartet of Armenian-Americans from Los Angeles, System of a Down is
today's answer to protest rock. And while lambasting topics such as
war, mass media brainwashing and overconfident white Americans isn't
anything new, no one has done it in the punk rock heavy-hitting
intensity that SOAD has.

The show opened with the band behind a large black veil of cloth
donning the cover of their new album "Mezmerize" with a spotlight
casting a shadow on guitarist Daron Malakian.

As the cloth dropped and a haze fell over the audience, SOAD broke
into "Soldier Side" and then onto their recent radio hit "B.Y.O.B."
featuring the infamous line "Why don't presidents fight the war?/ Why
do they always send the poor?"

>From there the band went into a pulverizing rendition of "Revenga,"
while bassist Shavo Odadjian stalked the stage.

"Hypnotize," the title track from the other half of their double
album due out Nov. 22, gave the audience a sneak peek into what
sounds to be another huge success.

>From there the night transcended from one song to another with such
precision it was as if System of a Down were a well-oiled machine.
>From "Know" to "Needles" to "Deer Dance" the floor erupted each time
frontman Serj Tankian led out one of his signature verses.

Tankian fervently belted out lyrics about war, mass media
brainwashing and man's inhumanity toward his fellow man. While
Malakian danced in circles, Odadjian continued to stalk both sides of
the stage and drummer John Dolmayan pounded the skins with such
intensity it's no wonder the crowd was on its feet from beginning to