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Live review

Deftones 

O2 Academy, Birmingham

added: 22 Feb 2013 // gig date: 19 Feb 2013
reviewer: Russell Cook

Deftones - O2 Academy, Birmingham - Printable version
There's a serenity in the apparent chaos of Deftones’ music, and that exists not just within each song, but as one song makes the transition to the next, live on stage. Their music is heavy, but it is much more ethereal than it is brazenly apparent and jolting, and as a result, their sound is unique and still excitingly fresh to this day.

That’s not to say that Deftones are a complete rarity. However, they form part of an exclusive club, comprised of only a handful of bands whose sound set them miles apart from the swathes of nu-metal / screamo bands of the late 90’s, early 00’s era. Deftones', sometimes discordant, always powerful, but surprisingly consistently ambient form of heavy music is truly distinctive and is the reason why they are still relevant, and arguably considered a cult band of sorts amongst today’s music lovers.

Tonight’s audience, although predominantly clad in the traditional black, reaffirm Deftones’ ability to transpire genre trends. Throughout their history they have consistently managed to draw fans from varying scenes, including the metal, indie, electronica and hip hop scenes alike. So, regardless of all the temporary hype that existed around the Fred Durst’s, Papa Roach’s and Static X’s during the early part of last decade, Deftones continue to display innovation and an individuality that is quite jarring when set amidst those same contemporaries.

From start to finish, songs taken from 2000’s brilliant ‘White Pony’, 1997’s trendsetting ‘around the fur’, and 2013’s latest endeavor, ‘Koi No Yokan’, carry the audience along the beautifully murky and muddy waters of Deftones’ sound, which is full of gutturally-tuned guitars, churning out riffs that, at once seem as fragile as they are heavy. But, surprisingly, there’s not too much processing going on with the guitars meaning that the minimal effects that are used have a massive impact on the bands’ overall sound, particularly in a live setting such as this.

It’s amazing; when a band can perform two consecutive classic songs – in this instance, ‘Be Quiet And Drive’ and ‘My Own Summer’ – and minutes later perform a brand new track - ‘Tempest’ - to much the same acclaim, it’s obvious that they either have a die-hard following, or a sound that is timeless; in this case, it seems like both. The most remarkable thing about Deftones’ live performance in 2013 is that they don’t seem aged by being a band of twenty-some years – their energy is infectious and their continued passion for performing songs older than at least a third of tonight’s audience hasn’t dwindled in the slightest. They are a real band with a sound that they should always, and most likely will, be proud to call their own.

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5 stars

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