Machine Gun Kelly performs live coverage of System Of A Down’s “Aerials”

Machine Gun Kelly performs live coverage of

Loudwire reports that Machine Gun Kelly took to the Howard Stern Show to perform a live cover of the 2001 song “Aerials” by legendary heavy metal band System of a Down.

Before the performance, Kelly and Stern take a moment to pay their respects to System of a Down, as Stern tells Kelly that “When you pick something to cover, it has to be a band you respect, and today you’re going to do a cover of a band that I love – System of a Down. I played their music in the 90s when I was at KROQ and all that shit. It’s a great band, isn’t it Kelly agrees with Stern’s remark, calling them a “great band”, then describing how his touring experience with the band affected him: “Yeah, we toured with them for a summer, doing these festivals in Europe. They blew us away every night; we were like, wow.

Kelly goes on to note that “We never did ‘Aerials’ at all. I’m here to jam it and see what happens. He goes on to warn that his vocal performance is not intended to imitate Serj Tankian’s original performance: “Serj’s voice is so untouchable. I’m just here to jam and have fun. You asked for a blanket so we were like do this.

Instrumentally, the cover offered by Kelly and his band shows a softer version of the song, ditching the hard drums for the original track in favor of a lighter touch, including the use of held shakers. While an electric guitar is used as the lead, the cover sound is dominated by the sound of acoustic rhythm guitars. As promised, Kelly’s vocal performance doesn’t sound like Tankian, but tries to build hype and energy in her own way. While Kelly sometimes seems to falter in the low range, her upper range moments feel stronger and more energetic, but ultimately fail to demonstrate the range displayed in Tankian’s original rendition. Fan response to the performance was mostly negative in terms of Kelly’s vocals, but many fans found much to appreciate in the cover, especially in the unique instrumentation featured by Kelly’s backing band. Stern himself was clearly pleased with the performance, telling Kelly “Holy shit! You have to do this in concert – it worked!

Watch Machine Gun Kelly and his band cover “Aerials” via YouTube below.

Machine Gun Kelly was recently announced as the headliner for the annual Lollapalooza, which is set to take place July 28-31.

Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz


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