Saturday, 15 May 2010

Deftones - Euston ULU - Wednesday 12th May 2010

It's been a tough time for Deftones in the last couple of years. Bassist Chi Cheng was placed in a coma after a terrible car accident in November 2008 and the band, having decided to carry on recording the album 'Eros' with ex-Quicksand man Sergio Vega, struggled to get a new record fully together. 'Diamond Eyes' was released on 3rd May 2008. It is not a replacement for 'Eros', which has been shelved for the meantime but is, for certain, the best Deftones record since 'White Pony' arrived back at the beginning of the decade. Whilst the two albums between 'White Pony' and 'Diamond Eyes' contained some truly awesome songs they were both struck with inconsistency and a lack of flow. For Deftones to return in 2010, despite the tragedy they have suffered, and release a record as wonderfully cohesive as 'Diamond Eyes' then is something of an achievement.

One thing I believe has not been affected at any stage is Deftones ability to play truly spell-binding live shows. This show at the ULU is no exception. Being one of the smaller venues that Deftones have played in recent years, this special show for MTV Presents has something of a special atmosphere to it. The majority of the people crammed inside the university venue appear to be long-term fans of the band and all seem delighted when the band emerge on stage at around quarter past 8 to the mega riffage of 'Rocket Skates', the "guns! razors! knives!" chorus of which provides the first scream along of the evening. It takes the band a little while to hit full stride but by the time the tones of 'Knife Party' and 'Passenger', incidentally my two favourite Deftones songs, have been wheeled out it's hard not to feel as if you're witnessing a band who are kings of the live arena. Singer Chino Moreno is on fine vocal form, mixing screams with raps and high notes expertly, and Sergio Vega is an active figure onstage. The fact that songs from 'Diamond Eyes' are all highlights tells you all you need to know about the new record. That they can stand out just a couple of weeks after release amongst the likes of 'Birthmark' and 'Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)' is testament to the strength of these new anthems. Of the heavier lot 'CMND/CNTRL' is an obvious choice to wax lyrical about with Chino having the crowd in the palm of his hand throughout while Steph Carpenter's monstrous riffs blare out in the background. The one problem with this gig indeed is that the sound at the ULU is really nothing to write home about. It's all actually...dare I say it, rather quiet. Not that this stops the band putting their all in with Abe Cunningham's drums being as powerhouse as on record and Chino getting up close and personal with the crowd when he so chooses. Any show that ends with an encore of 'Root' and '7 Words' can hardly be spoilt by minor sound gripes from audiophiles like me anyway! A great evening and a pleasure to finally see Deftones live at last. Bring on the next time!

Deftones - 9/10

Deftones setlist
Rocket Skates
Diamond Eyes
Knife Party
You've Seen The Butcher
When Girls Telephone Boys
Beauty School
Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)
Around The Fur
My Own Summer (Shove It)
Back To School (Mini Maggit)
Change (In The House Of Flies)
7 Words

* I am sure they played 'Prince' but the only setlist I can find on the web doesn't include it. Whether I imagined it or not is up for debate.

1 comment:

  1. Yep - they definitely played 'Prince'. SHow rocked - great review