Which rock concert had the biggest impact on System of a Down vocalist Serj Tankian? The singer instantly called up his first ever concert with Iron Maiden when asked that question, while also naming off another legendary concert tour as well.

Tankian was speaking with Monsters, Madness and Magic (as heard in the player below) when the topic of impactful live shows came up. Surprisingly, Tankian revealed that he wasn't necessarily a fan of Iron Maiden when he went to see them play, but the show definitely had an impact on him afterward.

Serj's First Concert "Maiden" Impact

"The first one that I ever saw, my first rock show I ever saw was Iron Maiden in 1984, I'd like to say — 1984, maybe," he recalled. "My girlfriend at the time was a huge Maiden fan and I, at the time, didn't even listen to much rock music. I hadn't even smoked pot. It was the first time I started smelling pot outside. I was a 4.0 good kid in school. So that was impactful for me because of the timing more than anything."

He continued, revealing that the music still hits him to this day. "You'll hear those kind of horses galloping within System's music that's influenced by Maiden as well; everyone in rock has been influenced by Maiden."

In a 2012 interview with The A.V. Club, Tankian recalled of that show, "I thought it was one of the craziest things I’d ever seen. [Laughs.] I’m like, 'This is madness! What is this? Everyone hide!' At the time I wasn’t actually a metal fan at all. I thought, 'Wow, this is really noisy music, I don’t get it.'"

The System vocalist revealed that he's since come around to Iron Maiden, but at that time in his youth he was into "different types of music" and wasn't really going to concerts.

What Other Concerts Impacted Serj Tankian?

In addition to mentioning the Iron Maiden concert, Tankian also called up seeing Roger Waters doing one of his concerts revisiting The Wall album.

"That was incredible, just the performative aspect of it," says Tankian. "The whole theatrical aspect of it was incredible. I had seen Pink Floyd way before as well - the flying pig."

Serj Tankian Guests on the Monsters, Madness and Magic Podcast

Serj Tankian in 2024

As has been well documented, System of a Down have significantly scaled back their touring in 2024. The band recently headlined the Sick New World festival in Las Vegas and their only other show of 2024 is on Aug. 17 with Deftones at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

READ MORE: Serj Tankian Reveals What System of a Down's Creative Differences Actually Are

Tankian has been making the interview rounds of late promoting his newly released memoir, Down With the System. It's currently available for purchase through his website.

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Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner

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