Update: The show has ended, but the concert can be replayed in the video above.
System of a Down are descended from survivors of the Armenian genocide, and as a band, they have long sought to make people more aware of the massacres and deportations that killed over a million people and dispersed countless more across the globe. Although frontman Serj Tankian has played solo shows within Armenia, “timing or the challenge of investment in infrastructure” has prevented a proper System of Down concert from ever taking place. That changes today, when the band closes its Wake Up the Souls Tour with a free show in the homeland’s capital city.
“In Armenia, our status is unparalleled,” frontman Serj Tankian told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I don’t want to use any monikers like the Beatles or anything, but it’s a unique kind of thing. So we want to go there and play for the people, which we’ve never done as System of a Down.”
The tour began on April 7th in Los Angeles and memorializes the 1915 genocide on its 100th anniversary. “Part of it is bringing attention to the fact that genocides are still happening, whether you use the word ‘genocide,’ ‘holocaust’ or ‘humanitarian catastrophe,'” Tankian says. “None of that is changing. We want to be part of that change. We want the recognition of the first genocide of the 20th century to be a renewal of confidence that humanity can stop killing itself.”
The band is scheduled to take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Armenian time – 12:30 p.m. on the U.S.’s East Coast. Watch the entire set in the live stream above.