A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum...
While sitting in relentless traffic on the 405-S, I imagined how ancient Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus (254 BC – 184 BC) might have comedically cast a light on the state of the modern world whereby a seminal arena rock band achieves more media coverage about the fact that they've made their long-wished-for reunion tour a "No Press Invited" affair than the actual tour itself and in light of this circumstance, how one might go about pseudo-reviewing a concert under the guise of a vague theoretical supposition.
It is well for one to know more than he says." - Titus Maccius Plautus
I understand the thinking. The band hasn't played together for five years, so go do a select run of shows catered to their fans to satiate the demand and oil up the artillery for the summer of European festivals. Pero nada press? What about loyal fans of the band that happen to be credentialed journalists? What about the band members' roles as Armenian cultural attachés? It would be nice to add a counterpoint to Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and their system of a Kardashian.
The first Armenian arrived in Fresno, CA in 1876. He expected a “paradise,” as it had been represented to him, but he thought the hot, bleak desert was more like Hell and so he moved back to Philadelphia. His name was Mr. Yanikian which coincidentally, spelling-wise, isn't too far removed from the name, Tankian.
Los Angeles is home to singer Serj Tankian and his System band mates and also houses the largest number of Armenian-Americans in the U.S. (nearby Glendale, CA is nearly 1/4 Armenian) and with this being the first local reunion show, it would stand to reason that there would be a strong demand for tickets.
"A mouse never entrusts his life to only one hole." Titus Maccius Plautus
The LA show was declared a sell-out fairly quickly and then sixty seconds post-mortem, the secondary market was flooded by brokers whereby a $70 general admission floor ticket was going for $100. Loads and loads of SOADs.
In the week leading up to the show, there was still a plethora of "marked-up" broker tickets available that seemed destined to not sell. Odd for a sold-out show with presumably pent-up demand. Lo-and-behold, a few days before the show, a batch of tickets were "suddenly" released for sale by Ticketmaster and even the day of the show, great lower level tickets were still available (the band even tweeted about it).
Perhaps some further advance hype (aka Press) would have helped sell some more seats, whether at full face value or at an inflated 40 cents on the dollar?
B.Y.O.B. Bring. Your. Own. Brain.
(pro bono publico)
(pro bono publico)
In ancient Greece, a symposium was a drinking party where high-minded auteurs such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and Xenophon gathered amongst their chiton-donning homies to copiously drink and vehemently revel in Socratic dialogue as a means to discuss moral and philosophical issues of the times.
Sounds like the true origins of a rock 'n roll show. Loud discourse amongst a large rowdy inebriated group of compatriots vociferously engaging within a private forum in a concerted effort to beget a systematic shtick of unrepentant bailiwick. I do believe the Original Greeks should be christened the real O.G's!
Further extrapolating the 2000-year old principles of philosophical thought, how might one surmise an analogous entertainment construct that puts the phrase "system of a down" into abstract context?
Imagine if Frank Zappa presided over a 42nd street commune whose wayward troupe featured Mike Patton propagating as a barker and Mike Muir emceeing as a spoken word laureate as they egregiously performed a multi-modal metaphysical journey of socio-psychological virtual reality augmented by sarcastic vignettes of fiction. Musically solidified by members of Suicidal Tendencies, Slayer, The Deftones and Korn the whole presumptuous carnival might be categorized as a cacophonous system of a down.
And what of the two-hour, thirty-song symposium held within the great western forum?
It was a tightly wound heat-seeking missile navigated with a zealous determination clearing a path in our collective consciousness to provide a sturdy bed to rest our pre-existing Attention Deficit Disambiguation.
The unified sonic barrage created by the band's viscosity AND the crowd's ferocity felt like a premeditated Incan tribalistic ritual perpetrating an existential psychotherapeutic séance segueing into an Indian War Dance bequeathing a pattern of circular testosterone-fueled Pride Parades.
It was Chop Suey For The Soul offered as an antidote to momentarily assuage the pent up Toxicity of life in modern day Rome. An entrée to a blissful communal state expertly orchestrated by the system of a Down Feather Bellower.
(mi down feather Cigaro es más grande que la tuya)
The Forum - Inglewood, CA
May 24, 2011
1. Prison Song
5. Deer Dance
12. Chop Suey!
13. Lonely Day
14. Soldier Side - Intro
15. Soldier Side
17. Kill Rock 'N Roll
18. Lost in Hollywood
21. Holy Mountains
Tour Dates 2011:
May 10 Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
May 12 Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
May 13 Seattle, WA - Key Arena
May 15 Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
May 18 Denver, CO - Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
May 19 Albuquerque, NM - The Pavilion
May 21 San Diego, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
May 22 Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Theater @ The Palms
May 24 Los Angeles, CA - The Forum
May 25 Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
June 2 Milan, Italy - Fiera Open Air Arena
June 4 Nuremberg, Germany - Rock im Park
June 5 Nürburg, Germany - Rock am Ring
June 6 Paris, France - Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
June 8 Paris, France - Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
June 9 Interlaken, Switzerland - Greenfield Festival
June 11 Donington, England - Download Festival
June 13 Nickelsdorf, Austria - Nova Rock Festival
June 15 Berlin, Germany - Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide
June 17 Gothenburg, Sweden - Metaltown Festival
June 19 Seinäjoki, Finland - Provinssirock
June 21 Moscow, Russia - Olympic Stadium
Octo 2 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Rock in Rio (co-headline w/ Guns 'N Roses)