Californian metal band System of a Down played their first gig in Yerevan, Armenia yesterday to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks. The Grammy-winning band, whose members are all children of survivors of the atrocity, embarked on a month-long world tour entitled Wake Up The Souls Tour to commemorate the event.
System of a Down have been outspoken about the Turkish government’s refusal to recognise the deaths as a genocide, with the band’s lead vocalist, political activist Serj Tankian, campaigning for worldwide recognition of the massacre. Opening the tour, Tankian said: “For years we have commemorated [the Armenian genocide] by doing a solo show, so we decided to call this tour the Wake Up The Souls Tour. Stand with these brave souls that are seeking justice for these genocidal crimes or side with the states that seek to silence them.”
The show was held in Yerevan’s central Republic Square and was free for the public to attend.