It has been 6 years since the Armenian Nu-Metal giants have played Donnington, and this year we see them gracing it again for the second time since their hiatus ended. Right away the setlist was strong, they blossomed into the iconic “Soldier side” from the Mesmerize album and then blasted straight into the first track on their debut album “Suite pea.” You can see the bands sound-wise are still on top form, growls sounding strong as well as there being no falter with Serjs voice, even though he makes a passing comment about it not at its best.
The same could not be said for their stage presence however, although they hold a back catalogue that will set any metal karaoke or rock bar alight, they just didn’t seem into it with their performance. Serj was standing as still as someone attending a wake. Daron, usually the owner of a crazy stage persona, looked like he would rather be sat on the sofa watching Countdown. This combined with little to no light show didn’t make for great stage viewing.
However, as was said, their insane ability to possess a back catalog containing more bangers than would be played at any east end nightclub night more than makes up for it. People moshed like crazy during Violent Pornography, shouting like manics at the iconic intro to Chop Suey and schizted out during set closer “Sugar”.
A great end to the first day with what many will say are the strongest headliner, it will remain to be seen how Biffy and Aerosmith fare.