November 12, 2016
The ever evolving entity known as “Deftones” has been largely intact for close to three decades and is heralded as one of the most experimental groups to have come from the alternative metal music scene, with their sound having been tagged with a myriad of labels:
From “nu metal” at the beginning of their career via “metal gaze” when they incorporated dream pop into their Northern California alt-metal to “space rock” with their musical style further diversifying over the years.
Whatever the label du jour may be, although firmly rooted in metal, Deftones have always been a multi-dimensional band based on their actively entertained beautiful / brutal dualism, which is enhanced by Moreno’s ambiguous, raw yet emotional approach to song writing, adding moody textures with his ethereal and melodramatic vocal delivery.
Throughout the years, live incarnations have at times been a mixed bag depending on the daily form, inner band tensions and other factors, but tonight’s show did not disappoint and cemented the Deftones as one of the more exciting bands:
While throwing in classics, the expansive set list spanning tracks from all eras of their eight album catalogues, including a focus on their most recent effort Gore, proved their longevity and presented a fresh feel. Their core sound might have solidified around their eponymous release White Pony, but they never ceased to experiment and grow, which paid dividends as 28 years into their career, the Deftones are a benchmark in a live context, reinforcing their relevance without needing to rely on riding waves of nostalgia.
Once the photographers exited the front of the stage, Moreno launched himself into the nearly sold-out crowd giving the show a layer of intimacy, leaving the stage to his worthy constituents sonically oscillating between their trademarked guitar chugging and serene melodic interludes, while being framed by a seizure inducing light show added to the sensory overload and overall ambience.
Photos by KAVV