Gig Review

Serj Tankian
Viza, The Hollywood Arson Project
Birmingham, Academy

10th October 2012

Serj Tankian                     Viza                               The Hollywood Arson Project

Photo Of The Hollywood Arson Project © Copyright Robert LawrenceThe Hollywood Arson Project are first up tonight with their almost prog sound but not as boring, it’s more like laid back rock, the band aren't much for moving around then again it's not the sort of sound to inspire jumping about, they just let the music do its thing, but they are well appreciated by the crowd. I enjoy the sound, the laid back riffs, its music you can chill out too. It's a good start to the night after a little trouble trying to get in.

Photo Of Viza © Copyright Robert LawrenceViza are the main support with their eastern European sound think Gogol Bordello only more metal and you'll get the idea of what they are like. 7 members of this band fill the stage with their energetic presence. The guitar playing is bloody superb, some really great lead playing, great riffs and really awesome solos. The Oud player is lost in there somewhere, with the second percussionist jumping about like a mad man. The vocals are pretty decent and they fit the sound of the band really well. The music is super catchy almost party music with dancing, vodka and plate breaking. They also cover The Doors and then the vocalist brings out some ladders to add to the madness to dance around with for a little while, odd!!! This band are going to be a real hard act to follow, I hope Serj is on his game tonight as this performance is going to be tough to beat.

Photo Of Serj Tankian © Copyright Robert LawrenceI have to be honest I've never been all that struck on SOAD or even Serjs own solo stuff, but I think with Serj or any band really that you sometimes have to be there to get it and this is one of them cases tonight, the one SOAD song I've always loved is Aerials, I'd liken some of his stuff to that, I think it's different to SOAD but there's that slight hint of it because of the way Serj sings his songs. They are pretty decent and better live than on CD as its more gripping and attention seeking.

They open the set with Figure it out, comucopia and feed us all, they are great songs to open with and setting a fast pace to the final third of the night they take things down a notch with sky is over before taking it up again with baby which us swiftly followed by butterfly, everything so far has got the crowd very my h alive with hands in the air, he seems to have most of the crowd in the palm of his hand with them mimicking his actions at times, he has very expressive arm actions which I guess is a trade mark of his.

They continue on with the likes of Harakiri of which is the opening track of his latest record and the name of this tour and its pretty good slow and dramatic in parts while being lively in others, they follow this with occupied tears, elect the dead, the unthinking majority, and honking antelope which takes us into the final third of the set. It's all rather good and deserving if a few listens on CD again.

Photo Of Serj Tankian © Copyright Robert LawrenceThey continue not with high energy but really good stage presence from the front in which the rest of the band follow with as they play the likes of Ching Chime, lie lie lie, saving us, Beethoven's cunt, he has no fucking clue why he called it that and the very awesome Empty walls to close the set and the night. My only disappointment of the night is seeing the set list and them not playing an encore which included Aerials, bastard!!

What pleasantly surprising set by Serj Tankian and his band, I recommend you catch Serj and his band when they are next about.

The Hollywood Arson Project 3.5/5
Viza 4.5/5
Serj Tankian 5/5

Review By Robert Lawrence

 Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian


Orbel Babayan
Shant Bismejian
Andrew Kzirian
Alex Khatcherian
Chris Daniel
Hiram Rosario

 Hollywood Arson Project

Mario Pagliarulo
Troy Zeigler
Jeff Mallow

 Band Related Links
Serj Tankian Facebook
Viza Facebook
The Hollywood arson Project Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?