System of a Down dominates Sick New World Festival with mind-blowing nu-metal resurgence

Headlining a grand collision of nu-metal titans, System of a Down delivered an unforgettable performance that transported Sick New World attendees back to the golden age of 1999.

Last night, amidst the neon-lit extravaganza of Las Vegas, the earth-shattering Sick New World festival materialized, heralding the arrival of the ultimate nu-metal event of the year.

Korn, Deftones, Incubus, Coal Chamber, Evanescence, and a myriad of other acts descended upon the colossal one-day spectacle, resurrecting the spirit of 1999. Yet, it was the reigning champions of alt-metal oddity, System of a Down, who reigned supreme, transfixing the audience with a monumental 31-song (!) set brimming with live rarities.

system of a down
Credit: Revolver

The ensemble, known for their idiosyncratic soundscapes, brought the curtains down on the festival with an awe-inspiring performance. This exclusive appearance stands as their solitary engagement on the calendar for 2023, and boy, did they make it count. System of a Down seized the opportunity to deliver a dream-like setlist tailored for ardent devotees—a legion that swelled in the thousands within the festival grounds.

The band electrified the air by unearthing gems long hidden from the stage’s embrace. “Soil” and “Forest” graced the ears of live audiences for the first time since 2015, while “Darts” and “DAM” made their resounding return after a hiatus that spanned six years, since 2017. As if that wasn’t enough, they astounded fans with the resurrection of “Peephole,” a track that had been languishing in the shadows of their setlist since 1999, its inclusion a mesmerizing revelation last experienced in 2013.

But fear not, for the juggernauts of sonic mayhem did not neglect their beloved hits. Commencing their sonic onslaught with the visceral intensity of “Prison Song,” they brought the evening to a thunderous climax with a one-two punch of “Toxicity” segueing seamlessly into the explosive finale of “Sugar.” Amidst this maelstrom of raw energy, classics such as “B.Y.O.B.,” “Chop Suey!,” and “Aerials” took their rightful place. Surely, it would be an arduous task for any System of a Down enthusiast to find fault with their meticulously curated sonic tapestry.

Naturally, as the awe-struck masses bore witness to this sonic spectacle, a sea of illuminated smartphone screens rose above the crowd, capturing the essence of the performance for eternity.