Deftones - Barrowland, Glasgow, Fri 15 Feb 2013
Alt-rockers' refreshing approach and inspiring outlook makes for great live spectacle
This article is from 2013.
The Sacramento based heavy alt-rockers are most definitely a resilient bunch. Seemingly unfazed by the changing landscape of the music industry, having been unfairly lumped in with the numb-skull nu-metal genre that plagued the early noughties, Deftones managed to outlive the paint-by-numbers approach adopted by many of their peers. Their willingness to adapt and experiment with more leftfield production, albeit with a more credible root at the source of their creativity, has paid off in spades. However, the reasons the band have continued to thrive are not based on a purely Darwinian ethos. It's the distinct components that each member brings to the table, especially charismatic frontman Chino Moreno whose diverse vocal range can evoke the softest of shoegaze sighs then the most bloodcurdling of screams, with a hypnotic intensity. A highly resonant, and visceral approach to their music with enough ambience and subtle dynamics to counter the onslaught of their trademark monolithic riffs has allowed them to hone their craft and remain relevant for almost two decades now. Adversity however is something that never seems to be far from the Deftones camp after struggling with the loss of bassist Chi Cheng who is still receiving round the clock care following a tragic car accident in 2008. Nevertheless, the band carried on with Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega and have since had their most prolific run in recent years with 2010’s Diamond Eyes quickly followed by new album Koi No Yokan.
Tonight at the Barrowlands the band are able to illustrate from the get-go that none of their captivating and intensified spirit has diminished either. The raucous tones of the title track from Diamond Eyes opens proceedings with its largely sludge-driven drone and is quickly followed by the foreboding crunch of new track ‘Poltergeist’. Frontman Chino is in fine form leaping across the stage with a laidback swagger, then vibrant and menacing as he looms over the audience. His trademark squeals are all over classics such as ‘Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)’ and ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’. The band also makes room for some surprise album tracks such as ‘Passenger’ from their memorable White Pony era. What was previously a duet with Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan now sees Chino take on the call and response roles of both melodies which are met with a subtle sincerity and delicate undertone before the song peaks on its huge crescendo chorus. The evening then comes to a frenzied conclusion on old school tracks ‘Engine No.9’ and set closer ‘7 words’, both from debut album Adrenaline. Leaving the most angst-ridden and energetic tracks to the end was a shrewd move from an outfit that have clearly lost none of their youthful integrity and boisterous attitude. Theirs is a refreshing approach and inspiring outlook which has served them well throughout their career - long may it continue.