Not being there myself, I've been informed on countless occasions that System Of A Down's performance at Download Festival two years ago ended up being rather underwhelming. If the band were not on form that night, then what a difference two years makes, because tonight at Reading they absolutely ruled the festival. Since their return it has all still felt a bit odd, speculation of internal spats still brewing, inconsistent messages around potential release of new material and so on and so on. All of which had been playing on my mind right up until the curtain fell and the band walked on stage. At that point nothing mattered, System Of A Down had arrived and Aerials spurred on one of the biggest sing-a-longs all festival.
The band had an absolute stormer throughout, delivering a powerful, heavy, yet fun set with absolute classics one after another. The crowd was massively into it, but the clearest thing was that the band themselves were just so into it. They were having fun with each other, interacting positively and just having an all-around good time. An all-out war-zone detonated during tracks like B.Y.O.B., Deer Dance and Psycho and sing-a-longs exploded for Lonely Day, Chop Suey! and Toxicity. The whole set was just bedlam.
The show was so good it just felt like they should have been headlining. Green Day were this evening's head liner and already it felt like they had an absolute mountain to climb to even come close to topping this. This has left me desperate for new System Of A Down material.