System of a Down @ Glen Helen Amphitheater – 10/13/2018
Saturday, October 13, 2018, was a dark and stormy day in San Bernardino, CA, but that did not stop forty-five thousand System of a Down fans from packing into Glen Helen Amphitheater for a sold-out show featuring an adrenaline-fueled 30-song set. System of a Down is currently out on a special seven show tour, and along with Skeletonwitch, Pallbearer, Clutch, At The Drive In, and Incubus, they made a stop at this massive venue in the mountains on their way to Aftershock Festival in Sacramento (Sunday October 14). The lineup, although unusual, was enjoyable to watch, and those who showed up early were treated to a spectacular show!
Clutch was the third band up on stage, and by that time a decent crowd had gathered in the arena. The rain subsided in time for their set, and the audience seemed genuinely entertained, although obviously growing increasingly antsy awaiting the headliner’s arrival on stage. Clutch is out supporting their September 2018 release Book of Bad Decisions.
Clutch Photo Gallery
At The Drive In was next, and they were a pleasant surprise when they hit the stage with boundless energy. Lead vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala was a delight to watch, as he tossed his microphone, and even the mic stand, into the air, clearly having the time of his life. The band played incredibly catchy tunes, and even the most brutal of metalheads could be seen dancing to the music.
At The Drive In Photo Gallery
Pardon us while burst through the gates of Glen Helen Amphitheater to catch Incubus’ set! Although surprising as direct support for System of a Down, their time up on stage was incredibly well received by the audience, the majority of whom were clearly there for the main event. Incubus played fan favorites such as, “Pardon Me,” “Megalomaniac,” and hands down the most shocking to witness a bunch of metal fans singing along to, a cover of “Pony,” originally performed by Ginuwine.
Incubus Photo Gallery
The hour that lapsed between the time when Incubus ended their set and System of a Down began theirs was excruciating. Even as people dispersed to refill their drinks, or take the opportunity to use the facilities, fans completely covered the expanse of the Amphitheater. Looking out into the crowd from the front of the stage, the audience seemed to stretch out forever. Their anticipation growing as time ticked on, the chants of the band’s name began. Forty-five thousand voices unified in the night screamed, “System! System! System!”
A few minutes after the band was scheduled to hit the stage, the lights went down, and the venue erupted with excitement. Silhouetted by the rain, Serj Tankian and the rest of System of a Down emerged, and rolled right into their first sing, “Innervision.” From the second they started playing, the audience was thrown into a frenzy and with good reason.
System of a Down rarely play shows these days, and this was a rare opportunity to catch them in action. Although they do not play live often anymore, the band has not lost one bit of their touch. The embodiment of charisma, the crowd was transported back in time to the heyday of nu metal as the band played 2000s favorites, such as “Prison Song,” B.Y.O.B.,” and “Aerials.” They lost no vigor as they moved through their two hour set, playing just as fervently at the end as they did at the start.
Throughout the time they were on stage, it was like Tankian had thousands of backup singers, as the crowd sang along with each song. Of course, there were also several moshpits that broke out around the venue to accompany the harsh growls and ripping guitar riffs. At the end of the harrowing experience, everyone was exhausted, but it was well worth the exertion!
On Saturday, October 13, Southern California was host to a mini festival like no other. Rain, cold, gridlocked traffic were not enough to prevent nearly fifty thousand metal fans from filing into an outdoor venue to experience the live performance of one of the pioneers of nu metal. System of a Down, as well as all of the bands on the bill, gave an awe-inspiring performance the fans won’t soon forget!
System of a Down Photo Gallery
System of a Down Setlist
Innervision | Prison Song | I-E-A-I-A-I-O | Soldier Side – Intro | B.Y.O.B. | U-Fig | Violent Pornography | Aerials | Mr. Jack | Deer Dance | Dreaming | Needles | Radio/Video | Hypnotize | ATWA | Bounce | Suggestions | P.L.U.C.K. | Psycho | Chop Suey! | Lost in Hollywood | Question! | Lonely Day | Know | A.D.D. | Spiders | Cigaro | Science | Toxicity | Sugar