10.04.2015 System of a Down (Wembley Arena, London)

I haven’t written any concert reports here for ages – mostly because that even though I’ve seen some nice concerts in the last couple of months, there weren’t really any surprises, any of those concerts where you leave with a huge smile and know that you’ve just seen something really special. (And you want to see it again and again and again, at least if you are a concert junkie.)

A few months ago, System of a Down announced a new tour. I’ve seen them at some festivals, but never at a “real” concert. They didn’t announce any concerts for Norway though … so if I wanted to see them, I knew I had to travel. First option for me would be Germany of course – but hmm. Huge arenas? Do I really want that? Or, if it has to be huge, should I maybe go all the way and see them at the Wembley Arena in London??

Well, after checking the dates it turned out that the London concert was on the same weekend as the WWE, so that meant it was time for my annual London trip anyway, yay! 😀 Said and done: a long weekend in London, started by a System of a Down concert!

Getting tickets was a bit tricky, but thanks to AXS (Ticketmaster sucks big time!) I even got a standing ticket. I had expected barriers and different sections, so I got to the arena early to make sure I got a good place in the back of the first section, but … no sections. One gigantic floor without any barriers. 😮

But: it worked. Yes, it was crowded. Yes, it was sweaty. Yes, I got a few more elbows into the ribs than I would have hoped for. But it was SO worth it!

The atmosphere was just awesome – I hadn’t really expected that when I first got in, because the arena was way less impressive and “special” than one might think. It’s just a huge all-purpose hall … (But then, to be honest, how else should a concert hall look?) It filled up rather slowly, and there was no support band.

But when SoaD came on, it was awesome right from the start. Everybody was into it, the audience was great (meaning: people took care of one another, nobody shot angry looks at those that dared to MOVE to the music, no couples tried to discuss their relationship while the concert was going on, no one was busy taking selfies with their iPad, but everyone was enjoying the concert). In the quiet parts, the audience’s singing was incredibly loud, and then everyone was back to dancing (but without suddenly running amok and kicking and hitting everyone who happened to be too close). Just awesome!

I can’t give a setlist or even attempt to list songs – I knew almost all of them, but I have no idea what the songs are called. As I mentioned, I’ve seen some SoaD gigs at festivals before, and while those were good, I always concluded that they are just not a great live band. I take that back. Fully and completely! The setlist was perfect – tight and without breaks, one song after the other, right until the audience just couldn’t go anymore. And then it was time for a slow part or a little video break. For two hours. And after that, everyone was drenched in sweat (at least everyone on the floor) and beaming with joy. The latter not only those on the floor! 😀

I honestly don’t know if it was System of a Down or London who made this concert so so great. But it was perfect. It’s been quite a while since the last concert that got me so excited. And it’s been forever since I last took off my watch during a concert, and ended up with bruises and sore muscles. It’s been too long. Way too long. This was the kind of concert that made me a concert junkie.

Thank you, System of a Down. And thank you, London! 😀

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