Coming onstage to the sounds of explosion and gunfire, Tankian, dressed in a white jacket and battered white top hat, launched straight into ‘Empty Walls’, the first track, and first single, from his debut album.
Almost the entirety of the aforementioned LP ‘Elect The Dead’ was performed during the set, including crowd favourites ‘The Sky Is Over’ and ‘Feed Us’.
Tankian was joined by an opera singer, ‘Kitty’, from Wolverhampton, who provided theatrical harmonies on ‘Lie Lie Lie’.
Spotting Israeli and Lebanese flags in the audience, the System Of A Down vocalist made the two bearers move together, leading to applause from the crowd.
Referring to the election of George W Bush, Tankian later asked the audience to repeat “we deem never to let ourselves become part of the unthinking majority”, before closing with ‘The Unthinking Majority’.
Serj Tankian played:
‘Lie Lie Lie’
‘The Sky Is Over’
‘Money Money Money’/’Money’
‘Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition’
‘Elect The Dead’
‘The Unthinking Majority’
Serj Tankian talks about playing Ping Pong with Rage Against The Machine and the presidential campaign at Leeds Festival 2008 below.
var config = new Array();config[“videoId”> = 1747291002; config[“videoRef”> = null;config[“lineupId”> = null; config[“playerTag”> = null; config[“autoStart”> = false; config[“preloadBackColor”> = “#FFFFFF”; config[“width”> = 486; config[“height”> = 412; config[“playerId”> = 1670076655; createExperience(config, 8);
NME.COM is bringing you live coverage straight from both sites of the Reading And Leeds Festivals 2008. For the latest news, blogs, pictures and video interviews head to the Reading And Leeds Festivals index now.
Plus make sure you get next week’s issue of NME – on newsstands nationwide from Wednesday August 27 – for the ultimate Reading And Leeds Festivals review.
For more Reading And Leeds Festivals coverage including live footage and more, visit fellow official media partner bbc.co.uk/readingandleeds.