Edit this event
And the crowd goes wild…
It does, we do. Initially, at least: it takes The Good Ship Deftones until the final third of a lengthy set to ground their cruiser, shattering its solid-rock hull on a cliff face spat out from shifting soils quite literally ‘Bored’ into action. After all, it’s said song that marks the onset of the rot, of the roughening of waters high and low, lapping against venue insides with ever-growing ferocity. Adrenaline is running, mercury-quick, through veins quite clearly visible below the skin due to the strength-sapping heat of the Scala. Adrenaline is near-enough delivered in its entirety on stage, and certain stowaways are threatening the captains, still plump on the spoils of their successes to date, with mutiny.
Deftones’ 1995 debut was a good album – chances are that without its successful mix of rock and rap the Sacramento quintet, then a four-piece, wouldn’t even be playing a venue of this size, let alone the huge arenas they’ve become accustomed to – but some eleven years on from its release, and three better long-players later, the fact that it’s not aged well is patently apparent. In a sweat pit like this, a series of incredibly old-school selections is received with a mixture of euphoria and disinterest – in some quarters one response, absolutely detectable through widespread smiles and mini-moshing, swiftly mutates into the other. Hardened attendees – the sort who probably have one of the band’s many insignias tattooed onto some part of their body – celebrate each and every Adrenaline cut as if Chino Moreno’s announcing the Second Coming itself, but facts are facts: if you’re of the opinion that Deftones have never made a better record than their debut, then you’ve never heard a Deftones record since their debut.
Overlooking the sole (albeit overwhelmingly) negative facet of this particular assessment for a few moments, Deftones’ run through of material from their post-Adrenaline albums is largely inspiring: although they begin awkwardly, slurring and swaggering their way through a limp rendition of ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’, a cohesion is soon established between the five and sparks duly fly. ‘Hexagram’, the lead track from the band’s underrated self-titled album, is a violent delight, churning and chopping, flailing dagger-sharp nails towards throats exposed by the stripping away of layers. Moreno hunches repeatedly, Notre Dame’s hero re-imagined as a rock star, his screams curdling blood into jelly from front row to those sweating themselves thin against the back wall; as he stretches into a shape elongated once more, he towers like a superhero, preaching as if from a pulpit, words tripping over each other and tumbling as uncontrollably as the human tides clashing before him.
Sometimes, just sometimes, there’s a real feeling of magic in the air: ‘Head Up’ is furiously executed, as diabolically potent today as it was in 1997, while ‘Minerva’ proves itself to be Deftones’ second-greatest anthem. It should be played at births, deaths and marriages; on the first day of a new job, and at every leaving party in the land; its ability to bring complete strangers together, “God bless”-ing everyone in earshot, is a revelation to behold. For three-and-something minutes (or more, who’s counting when the air’s filled with such beauty?), Deftones transcend the metal circles they’ve kicked about in all these years; truly, no other song in their catalogue of work so effortlessly reinforces the fact that they never were part of the nu-metal scene. This song is as close to a Limp Bizkit ‘Nookie’ as Fred Durst is to ever winning The Booker Prize.
It is, though, only the band’s second-greatest anthem: their regular standout song, now the best part of ten years old, arrives early on, following the one new song of the night (a swirling, more-Team-Sleep-than-traditional-Deftones effort). ‘Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)’ is the proverbial albatross about the band’s neck, a millstone of ever-increasing weight, but a welcome one: each and every time they strum out the intro, crowds from New York to New Delhi scream their instantaneous support. Tonight is no different. It’s now that crowd really does go wild, and the beat goes on: 'When Girls Telephone Boys', 'Lotion', 'Around The Fur', 'Change (In The House Of Flies)', each is delivered with power and precision.
The crowd's enthusiasm, sadly, does not last the distance. Although ‘Bored’ is welcomed fantastically by all and sundry – at one point it threatens to turn into Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’, be such a twist intentional or otherwise – after half-a-dozen Adrenaline songs many a soul is crying out for something a little more contemporary. Considering the wealth of quality songs at Deftones’ disposal – White Pony, certainly their most ambitious album, is barely plundered – it seems foolish to plough through material that dates from a time when many a crowd member was spending their mornings at the local pre-school. When the house lights come up, those aforementioned smiles have been wiped from a broad spread of faces; a glimpse is caught of Moreno making an exit, stage right, clutching under his arm a collection of hearts stolen without delivering a set worthy of their attainment. He’ll stockpile them with the others, below deck, monitored only by a CCTV camera emotionless enough to spy without augmentation by rose-tinted glasses borne solely of nostalgia.
…and the camera makes you seasick.
- 2012's Most Read: Threads, Reviews and More...
- DiS Staff: #1 Albums of 2012
- 50 Musicians To Follow On Instagram
- Deftones - Koi No Yokan
- Weekend Listening: Stay+, Patrick Wolf, Halls, Exitmusic, Stereophonics, Deftones
- September 2012: Editor's 10 Favourite Streams + Spotify playlist
- No Surprises? 15 Classic Albums of 15 Years Ago
- Spotifriday #114 This week on DiS as a playlist ft. Eels, Deftones, Active Child + more