Monday, 15 August 2011

Serj Tankian in Yerevan: Dorians, the audience, messages, and the most bizarre 'weapon of mass destruction'

Yerevan Diaries

Bottle cap as a 'weapon of mass destruction'

The weirdest thing happened before the concert started. Security or stewards demanded bottle caps to be separated from plastic bottles and thrown away before one can enter the concert area. I & friends could not get it: why bottle caps? Someone suggested that they could be thrown at others during the concert, but plastic bottles could be used for the similar purposes too, if one had such a desire. Whose 'genius' idea this was, I wonder?

Dorians - more than an opening act

Absolutely loved Dorians. Always liked them via their YouTube clips, but now that I managed to enjoy their performance live, I am 'officially' their fan. Top class rock performance, in line with best young rock groups elsewhere.

Serj Tankian

Despite criticism re not powerful enough sound and choice of music, Serj Tankian was good too. I expected higher energetics, but he didn't disappoint me. And I loved the stage design, very tasteful, and organic with the outside environment. And symphonic orchestra from the Yerevan Opera House was pretty good too.

Messages & the audience

The audience was very mixed. Not in a good way mixed. Quite a few young people didn't REALLY know why they were there. They probably came in for a free concert and/or to say 'we were at Tankian's concert'. They were minority, perhaps, but a sizeable minority. This group typically had no clue what Tankian was singing about, and was funny to observe how they followed others' to start clapping etc. :)

There were some powerful messages from Serj Tankian about ridiculousness of borders - between people, countries and nations. He made it loud and very clear that "all walls are f*cking empty". But it seemed to me, that for a sizeable proportion of people present at the concert, the only message they got from Tankian was one with the G-word.

Calls for universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, expectedly, followed by huge applause. But immediately after, Serj Tankian mentioned that we should pay attention to problems within Armenia too, without specifying them. Much weaker applause followed.

(just one of those problems) Environmentalists managed to make their point known during the concert by waving a huge poster "Mining is killing".

And the least applause of the night goes to... Armenia president Serj Sargsyan

People were shouting Serj (meaning Serj Tankian), accompanied by the huge applause for his performance. Then he mentioned that there is another Serj present at the concert - Serj Sargsyan, the president of Armenia, that is. No shouting of his name, and only very weak, hardly noticeable applause followed. This was yet another message of last night, but this time from the audience...


Doc said...

It's always interesting to see or read about how Armenians react during concerts :) aand I have yet to see or even hear about a grand applause for the president, not only Serj, but any president of Armenia ( be it an ex-president, or a future one) :)

Thanks for sharing this!

Houri said...

Hi Mika,
Thank you for your informative post. I was so frustrated that I could not watch the live streaming but got to see the ending on Shant TV here in NYC.

I've been following you for a while and I'm glad I finally have a comment :) Plastic bottle caps have been an issue for recycling for a while on this side of the pond. I'm pretty sure the idea came from one of Sam's daughters who are from a generation that care. Here's more info:
Keep up the good work!

Sara said...

Taking away bottle caps is a common practice at outdoor concerts here in Canada. As well as not throwing it at the artists, I think it also helps the cleanup process after the concerts ends.

artmika said...

Thanks, guys, re bottle cups info. Hopefully, that was the reason, have to confess, never seen such practice in London and was surprised.

Anonymous said...

It appears Serj Sargsyan was also present. Probably this is Tankian's last concert in Armenia.