As descendants of Armenian genocide survivors, System of a Down have spent a long time advocating for awareness of the early 20th century massacre. And while frontman Serj Tankian has played solo shows a few times in Armenia, the band has never had the opportunity to play a full-sale System of a Down show there—that is, until now, when the band concluded its Wake Up the Souls Tour by performing for free in the country’s capital.
“In Armenia, our status is unparalleled,” said Tankian in an interview with the 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, which began April 7 in Los Angeles, memorializes the 1915 genocide for its 100th anniversary.