Chop Suey! Steals the Show

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Local System of a Down tribute Chop Suey! just keeps getting better! They had the Slowdown jumping Saturday night (10/5). Playing 27 songs over 90 minutes the crowd ate up every tasty lick and primal scream the band dished out. With most headlining acts only playing 60 to 75 minutes these days, I was seriously wowed with Chop Suey!’s stamina and ability to keep the audience engaged.

We’ve covered over 40 shows this year at Stories from the Crowd and I can only count on one hand the number of headline acts that did more than an hour. With 27 songs, you could tell Derrek, Zach, Tyler, and Geddy took a lot of care putting together a set that had something for everyone. With top hits and deep cuts, Chop Suey! was ready to bring the party.

Chop Suey! started the set with the slower, more somber “Soldier Side” from 2005’s Mezmerize before jumping into the crowd favorite “B.Y.O.B” from the same album. When B.Y.O.B” hit, the pit started to open up and everyone was dancing. It’s funny how “Everybody’s going to the party have a really good time” can incite grown men to slam into each other.

Next, Chop Suey! stuck with the Mezmerize/Hypnotize double album and pulled out “Cigaro,” “Attack,” “Kill Rock and Roll,” and “Hypnotize.”

After the Mezmerize/Hypnotize block, Chop Suey! threw it back to System’s debut self-titled album with the song “Suite Pee.” It’s crazy to think it’s been almost 20 years since I first saw that song live when S.O.A.D opened for Limp Bizkit at the now foregone Omaha Civic Center. That was a wild time. Nü-metal was at its peak, Limp Bizkit could do no wrong, and Method Man and Redman were the co-headliner. If I remember correctly that was one of the first shows I was able to go to without my parents present. This site is PG-13 so I won’t get into all the shenanigans, but let’s just say my mind was altered a bit that night.

I hadn’t thought about that show for a while, but seeing these songs brought to life really brings back fond memories of my youth. I’m sure I’m not the only who feels this way. Many of the folks in attendance were in their late 30s and 40s and likely remember S.O.A.D in their prime, but there were a few kids who are probably just discovering the music now, way cool!

Not everyone was feeling the rowdiness though. Some sorority types behind me were complaining about some of the moshing going on, “It’s way too small in here for people to be moshing, OMG.” Clearly, they weren’t around for the days of the Ranch Bowl.

After one more smash hit “Toxicity,” the band took a brief intermission and came back out for another onslaught of hits! Lead singer Derrek, with a flair for the dramatics, was sporting a custom orange Chop Suey! jumpsuit with a firey orange mohawk to match. “Who wants to go to prison?” Derrek shouted over the crowd.

Guitar virtuoso Zach Adkins gave his axe a single crunchy punch. Derrek whispered “They’re trying to build a prison…” Again Zach crunched adding a few more notes. “Dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dah, dah, dah dah” Again Derrek whispered “They’re trying to build a prison.” The band ripped into full blown chaos! “They’re trying to build a prison, for you and me to live in, for you and me!!! Derrek gives a gutteral “ooohhhh” and I can’t lie, this is where I totally lost my mind.

My buddy Spencer Rosenberg (shout out to Carnographer) caught a video and I could see myself fist pumping crazier than everyone else off to the side.

Chop Suey! proceeded to blast through 12 more songs including “Bounce” in which the whole crowd got down only to leap back up in celebration.

As per tradition, Chop Suey! capped the night off with one of S.O.A.D’s biggest hits “Sugar.” Derrek got into the center of the crowd and wildly leapt up and down like a madman. Everyone was smiling and having the best time.

It’s been so cool to watch Chop Suey’s progression this year. From starting back in April at the Lookout Lounge, to headlining the Waiting Room just a few months later, to now playing the Slowdown. I can’t wait to see these guys in an arena with cryo-jets and pyro! With the way things are going, touring arenas might not be too far off.

I’d like to personally thank Chop Suey! for inviting me to cover this show and all of the other shows they’ve played. I hope to continue capturing their rise to stardom!

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