Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s Bram and Zach take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
This past week, we learned that May of 2011 is going to be a hell of a month. While Rammstein announced a string of U.S. dates (following their first show in the U.S. at Madison Square Garden this past December), dates for System Of A Down’s first U.S. shows since 2006 were leaked as well. Since both bands will be playing limited locations around the same time as each other, fans are most likely going to have to choose one show over the other to attend/travel to (unless you’re willing to spend loads of money on travel expenses).
So with that in mind, Bram and Zach will be debate the following in this week’s Headbangers’ Brawl: who would they rather go out of their way to see live this May, Rammstein or System Of A Down?
Zach: If the MetalSuck’s dates and locations are correct, I’m going with System Of A Down. Granted, I am a little biased because SOAD is one of my all time favorite groups EVER. However, I’d also like to argue that they simply put on an amazing show. I’ve seen them twice, and both times I was blown away. Sure, there might not be any fire or pyros. But SOAD’s intensity on stage and great sound is enough for me.
Bram: The Germans vs. the Armenians – what is this, metal or a soccer match? I’ve seen both bands, and given the choice, I’d go with Rammstein every time. I’ve seen them a handful of times, and the stage show they bring to America is one of the most innovative live shows around. They aren’t returning from a hiatus, but until last December, they hadn’t played in the States in a decade. System of a Down might have taken some time off, but it doesn’t seem like it. Their last two albums were released six years ago, but they’d toured enough before their hiatus. And between Serj’s solo albums and Scars on Broadway, it’s not like any of them really disappeared from the public eye.
Z: I admit that I haven’t had the honor of seeing Rammstein live yet, and I would love to especially after seeing all of the YouTube videos taken from their Madison Square Garden show. But I’m not a huge fan of the music. Sure there are a few Rammstein tunes that I like to listen to (who doesn’t love the classic “Pussy”?), but I wouldn’t call myself a mega fan of the band. On the other hand, I am a HUGE SOAD fan. I might not get to see Serj and Daron attack each other with flame throwers on stage, but I will get the chance to hear songs like “Science,” “BYOB” and “Chop Suey!” live again. And while you may feel like it hasn’t been that long since you’ve seen them live, Bram, it has felt like an eternity for me (and I know I’m not the only SOAD fan to feel that way).
So of course, if I had the opportunity to see both shows, I would totally go for it. But if a mysterious character wearing a suit and carrying a suitcase approached me and said “This suit case will allow you to either see Rammstein or System Of A Down live,” I would already be half way to the nearest venue that SOAD was playing at with that suitcase before the guy could even finish his proposition!
B: I kind of imagine your mythical suitcase guy looking like Metal Insider‘s mascot. I’d still choose Rammstein over SOAD. I like System a lot, but there’s a lot of things I liked in the late ’90s and early 2000s that I’m not sure I’d be as into these days. Don’t get me wrong, they put on a great live show, but what it comes down to for me is this: System of a Down reunited, which I would presume means they’ll put out music again and tour. Seeing them dust off some classics and maybe a new song will be great. But Rammstein’s U.S. run might be the last time they’ll be here for another decade.
Z: But that’s the same thinking behind why Rammstein’s Madison Square Garden show was so special, the idea that we might not see them perform in the States again. Yet here we are talking about new Rammstein dates. While I could argue that SOAD’s future isn’t set in stone, I would agree that the chance of there being more shows in the future is a strong possibility if these shows prove successful. However, the same could be said about Rammstein and their upcoming dates.
B: It’s true, but I see them as returning to the states more as a special run of large areas than a touring staple. I agree that if they were to tour every year, it would lose its luster, but right now it’s bright, shiny, on fire, and exploding.
So who would YOU choose? Let us know in the comment section which band you’d make a larger effort to see this coming May. And remember, we still want YOU, the reader, help us choose the topic of discussion for Headbangers’ Brawl. So email us your question/topics to tips [at] metalinsider.net with the header “Headbangers’ Brawl Suggestion.” Not only will your suggestion possibly be featured in Headbangers’ Brawl, but you may get a cool prize as well.