Reviewed onSaturday November 12
Deftones are an anomaly. Having weathered trends for close to 30 years, the band has sailed through waves of skate punk, nu metal, emo and now even prog rock, coming out the other end unscathed and still relevant. It’s hard for a band to simultaneously act as godfathers to a scene while still being at the forefront of it, yet somehow this brand of melodic experi-metal has been unchallenged both musically and within the culture.
Karnivool took the main support duties, though they could probably headline in their own right, with their melodic prog rock making a good addition to the lineup. With frontman Ian Kenny’s ‘other’ band Birds Of Tokyo taking over, it’s good to see these guys back (albeit briefly) – though it’s interesting to see how the two acts have morphed into very similar territory in recent times. Nevertheless, the crowd was amped by Karnivool’s presence in what was almost a double bill.
With Deftones now on their eighth tour of Australia, it was refreshing to see a promoter finally recognise the strength of a band that has mostly played smaller venues when not on festival duties in previous years. The size of this room was testament to Deftones’ aforementioned staying power – it may have been a surprise to the band, but not to the crowd, who were mostly die-hards who’ve stayed the course of the Californians’ career.
They ripped through a career-defining setlist, opening with ‘Diamond Eyes’ before heading straight into 2000’s ‘Digital Bath’, then covering material from the bulk of their career. New album Gore was only featured twice, with the title track and ballad ‘(L)MIRL’ getting a run-through. Energetic as ever, frontman Chino Moreno bounced around the stage and into the crowd, playing 20-year-old songs like this was their first public outing.
Tight and professional, Deftones still have a love for the road, feeding off the crowd and giving it their all. It might be 21 years since their debut, but through the storm they’ve come out on top and keep getting bigger.