With only a nod and a smile as he walked on stage, SOAD lead singer Serj Tankian assured the crowd this would be a show they would not soon forget. A few seconds later with the opening explosion of “Prison Song,” the Armenian-born and San Fernando Valley-raised quartet made good on his promise.
Bassist Shavo Odadjian and guitarist Daron Malakian provided pogo-stick like bombs, searing notes and growling vocals throughout the 20 song, hour and a half long set; all the while treating the crowd to their usual, and often amusing, repertoire of goofy faces.
With blitzkrieg-like support from drummer John Dolmayan, Tankian kept the nearly 2,500 devotees in a frenzy by following up with “Know” and “War?” from their self-titled first album before letting the crowd catch it’s breath. “Deer Dance,” “Jet Pilot,” “X,” “Suggestions” and “Psycho” and then had the macho-rambunctious security team working overtime (NO SLAMDANCING/NO CROWD SURFING signs were posted at the entrance) before the popular sing-along “Chop Suey!” allowed for a break in the action.
“Honey,” “Bounce,” “Aerials,” “Needles,” “Science” and “Toxicity” from their hugely successful 2001 effort Toxicity, then sandwiched “Spiders” and “Soil” before the Zappa-esque Tankian took the crowd for one last stroll down memory lane. True to form, 1998’s “Suite-Pee” and “Sugar” exhausted the sweat-drenched mini-mosh pits. With his “fun” work now done, Tankian gave the mostly twenty-something audience food for thought when he dedicated the night’s last song , “P.L.U.C.K. (Politically Lying, Unholy, Cowardly Killers),” to the victims of Armenian genocide.