Part I – At The Barrier

It’s 10 am, 10 April 2015. I’m camped outside the Wembley SSE Arena in the sun with great company and a few drinks. Soon I am to see my childhood idols, my favourite band and inspirational musicians whose works have partly shaped who I am today.

 

I have followed each of the band’s members in their endeavours since I was young, both solo and with System of a Down. I had the pleasure to see and meet Serj Tankian when supporting his last record, Harakiri, as well as watching System of a Down play at Reading Festival in 2013.

However this concert and tour was unique. The worldwide ‘Wake Up The Souls Tour’commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and ends with a free show in Yerevan’s Republic Square on 23 April. The intense show was split into three parts, with intermissions featuring an informative collage movie depicting genocides in the past and the repercussions of genocide denial in the present.

 

The 20,000 concert goers were fed an interesting melange of metal, Armenian folk, and political activism. Being near first in line allowed us to reach the front of stage at the barrier meaning that while we proudly waved our Armenian flag, each band member would show us love.

As a diehard fan, we were treated to some rarely played songs such as Cubert, U-Fig, the interlude of Dreaming, as well as a personal favourite Marmalade which only features on their early demo tapes. The experience was certainly emotional for me; national heritage and political activism had never been manifested so beautifully through the medium of music for me.

— Emin Moskofian

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