DEFTONES – LIVE – Adelaide, Australia
DEFTONES – LIVE – Adelaide, Australia
The Deftones were rewarded with a packed house but I guess you can pack out a good sized theatre when you have an album that has gone to number one in the Australian standard charts. The large and happy crowd have been warmed up by Aussie prog legends Karnivool and up-and-comers Voyager. Gig goers are up for it tonight and, as I wander to the front, the band t-shirts on show cover an array of musical tastes and genres, from the rockers to the ‘cores’, but that’s the appeal of the Deftones.
The stage has been extended at the front by a collection of flight cases and amps. I’m in the pit and I’m thinking that this is just for show. Wrong. The Deftones take the stage and the amps kick into life and I feel myself being punched by the air driven by bass. Before we know it Chino is on top of the extended stage and laying into Diamond Eyes. He is craning into the crowd, challenging them, pushing them on. Chino is backed by one of the best light shows I have seen in recent indoor tours. A lot of touring bands just go for the venue lights but the Deftones have taken it up a notch and it’s spectacular. I would expect this from an open air event but for a US touring band to cram this lighting rig into a theatre, well, that’s pretty impressive.
The Deftones are up for it tonight and we crack through a number of tracks before coming to the touring album title and Gore. The crowd seems to lift again, and although the P.A is set to eleven, you can hear every word from the crowd. Chino is down the front, singing to the barrier huggers being held in place by a worried looking security guy. As the night moves on its clear that this audience knows this band well, so the band relax and deliver. As we hit the metal surge of Groove City there’s a bounce across the theatre and I manage to travel a few metres in a couple of bars. The lights sparkle through the crowd, picking out ecstatic faces, some just staring and others singing to their mates.
A few more tracks keep the groove before we hit my favourite from the Around the Fur album and Headup. It’s raw, aggressive and totally unforgiving. I’ve just been handed a shoe and eventually find the body that it belongs to as they pass overhead before landing on his ear on the other side of the barrier. Fist pumping, he’s up and back into it as the feedback outro of this track consumes all of the air in the theatre. The lights and the huge sound are conspiring to give these ‘old’ well known songs new life. Crazy to think that the more laid back track My Own Summer, which is on next, is from the same album. Buts that the variety of the ‘Tones.
Rubicon from the Gore album is huge onstage. It’s a good track on the album but it’s a monster when played live. When people say, ‘stadium song’ then this is one. No doubt that this will become a standard on the setlist. It morphs into Change (in the house of flies) and the audience is off in another world. The lyric is almost lost in the wall of sound and blinding stage show. Mouth open and wide eyed we stand as the Deftones launch into the final track of the standard setlist with Knife Party from the White Pony album which, I’m glad to say, is still as mad as they day it was written.
The band leave the stage and it goes dark, overdosed eyes taking a breather. The band return and we get two tracks for the encore, Bored and Engine No. 9. Got to say, Bored, is a strange one for an encore and I would probably have that mid-set somewhere. It’s a laid back track and probably not what you expect to fill out the setlist. You can’t say that about Engine No. 9 which is one of my all-time favourite tunes. Its groove, grind and all over the place lyrically, but what a track. The instruments are dropped and we are left with a wall of feedback, band long gone and the light show still doing its thing, until it fades and Prince closes out the night.
Deftones. Unique, sensitive, aggressive, powerful and haven’t calmed down on bit. This band has faced more challenges than most and it comes through in their music. This is the tour to see, so get amongst it because there are not many bands bringing this quality of stage show and back catalogue to the road today.
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide Australia, 10 November Setlist:-
Review: Craig Grant