WATCH: System of a Down Performs with Mexican Cover Band in Los Cabos
System of a Down’s drummer John Dolmayan and lead vocalist Serj Tankian were celebrating Dolmayan’s 50th birthday in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on July 15, when they joined a local street band for an impromptu performance of “Aerials.”
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It all started when the local rock cover band, Médium, was hired to play at a private party where Dolmayan and Tankian would be present. The band took to Instagram to hint at their performance with the caption, “Guess who we’re playing for tonight?”
The group prepared a cover of the heavy metal band’s 2001 hit “Aerials” from their second album, Toxicity. First, Dolmayan joined the group behind the drums while the surrounding audience pushed Tankian to join them before he joined Médium’s lead singer in a duet.
Needless to say, it was a surreal night for the band members of Médium. “One day they tell you that you’re going to play at a dinner for System of a Down, and the next you’re playing alongside them,” the group wrote on Instagram. “Without a doubt, one of our best experiences.”
System of a Down has been fairly quiet in the music scene. Going on a hiatus in 2006, the band hasn’t released an album since 2005’s Hypnotize. But in 2020, the band released two surprise singles titled “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” in the wake of violence in Artsakh and Armenia.
In an interview with Sona Oganesyan on YouTube, Dolmayan expressed frustration with the band’s lack of releasing music. “Obviously, we still have something to give to the world,” Dolmayan said. “We have this gift, right, that came from God or wherever, and we’re squandering it… That’s like the worst; having the ability to do something and not doing it is, I think, the worst thing in the world as far as in the perspective of being an artist.”