Screw bigass stage banners and unashamed self promotion; the band of the hour needs no introduction. If you don’t know it’s Deftones on the stage at Brixton Academy this night then go the fuck home.
But no one does.
Charisma shrouds the venue as guitar, bass, drum, DJ and vocal unleash demolition and destruction. It takes brilliance to juxtapose melancholic montages with a brutal barrage of nihilistic metal fury. The band goes old school with “Feiticeira”, “Passenger”, “Dai The Flu”, “Headup” and “Bloody Cape”. There’s a nod to “Diamond Eyes” with sounds of the title track as well as “Sextape”, “CMND/CTRL” and “Rocket Skates” ripping through the auditorium. The final onslaught of “Engine No. 9” and “Seven Words” and the seven-albums-later dynamism of “Poltergeist”, “Entombed”, “Tempest”, Rosemary” and “Swerve City” are a reminder of a twenty-five year attack on music that has proved relentless and imaginative. And what’s a Deftones gig without “My Own Summer” (Shove It) and “Change” (In The House of Flies)?
As the band metes out some Deftones-style therapy, restraint is annihilated, psyche is traumatised and the crowd eats it up whilst being reminded that there is no one cooler than Chino Moreno. There just isn’t.
The man thinks TopMan is for boys – aka “TopBoy” (wise), returns a hurled cap to its owner mid-gig because “it sucks when people take your shit” and you have to buy more (empathetic), ‘talks about it’ with fans (funny), is the purveyor of ace crowd banter (smart), offers free fashion advice (kind), pays kudos to a wheelchair guy mid-verse (observant), does not hesitate to hurl his person at the open arms of a mass of ravenous fans (brave)…oh, and fronts the best band in the history of ever (genius).
Man, instrument and some kickass lighting hammer out an assault on the senses. Metalheads show wannabes what a Deftones gig is all about – Thrashing.It.Out – and no one leaves fully intact.
This review also features on Clink Music Magazine.