OCTOBER 14th 2012

Review by Anka
Photos by Peter Ruttan

If there’s anything that can save this city on a rainy Sunday night, that would be a loud live show. I actually congratulate myself for not crashing after the weekend festivities and going to see Deftones live at the Commodore. I have seen Deftones live many years ago and I was looking forward to seeing them again, although I’ve never been a big fan of the band I wanted to see how things have evolved for them. That being said I made sure I took my ear plugs with me because the previous show experience had proven how loud these guys can be and I thought it could happen again, especially when they were about to play one of the best venues in the city.

Although the show was announced as sold out, I didn’t think the Commodore Ballroom was filled at capacity. The opening band Scars on Broadway didn’t make it to Vancouver so it was up to Deftones to entertain the fans for the entire night. Anticipation built as the crowd was waiting for the band to start so when Deftones took the stage at 9:30 the entire venue exploded in screams and frantic moves, and from where I was in the back I could see the entire crowd jumping around and even a few brave guys crowd surfing towards the stage. 

One cool thing about a Deftones show is that because of the music genre itself, the crowd, while mostly younger, is very diverse: you can expect to see anyone from metalheads to hip hop fans, so now you can imagine the moves I’m trying to describe here. Deftones is still a very popular band, in part because it appeals to both heavy music lovers as well as fans of other alternative genres. Nonetheless it would have been pretty impossible for anyone to stand still during the performance, the band definitely put on a crazy show and brought in a lot of energy.

Main man Chino Moreno stands out as the energy bomb of the group – he consistently entertained the crowd and jumped around during the set covering the entire stage area. I was a bit disappointed not to hear his famous violent screams full blast, his voice was definitely not as loud as I had predicted it would be, partially because of the sound issues during their set, but also because of him being sick, as he later confessed.  However this obviously didn’t influence his overall performance and didn’t stop him from jumping down to the barrier to sing along with the overwhelmed crowd. Kudos for the relentless energy and the amazing stage presence!

There was nothing out of the ordinary happening on stage, the band simply did a good job without useless props or added effects of any kind. Pure energy on both sides of the barrier is what drove the entire set. Deftones played for almost an hour and a half and started the set with older and popular tracks that got the crowd going .The entire set list highlighted all the moments of their career, the audience being clearly very receptive to the songs from Around the Fur, Adrenaline and White Pony. The band also played newer songs that I personally haven’t heard yet, but honestly didn’t mean to check them out either after hearing them live. ‘7 words’ was the chosen song to end the show.

Even way at the back of the venue I could hear people singing along as loud as they could, and I almost got ambushed a few times in between fans that needed a bit more space to manifest their excitement.  The crowd often took over and sang the chorus lines, which must have made Moreno quite thankful given his condition.  I must admit I rarely see such active crowds at metal shows but I think I understand it this time - it’s actually easier to sing along to a Deftones song rather than to a death metal tune.

This show was more than I expected and I would recommend it to anyone who even remotely likes this band’s music, I don’t think there’s much they can do to disappoint anyway - it’s just a good time, it’s fun and it’s intense.  If you don’t go for the band, it’s worth going just for the audience.