Deftones

support Coheed And Cambria
author AP date 27/11/10 venue KB Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN

In the wake of the band's last appearance in Denmark, at Copenhell last summer, the announcement that Deftones were to return so soon had many exhilarated - including the staff and regulars at Rockfreaks.net. As a result, this concert contained more familiar faces than I've ever seen at a show in Denmark, making the whole event that much more festive. Only a truly disappointing performance could lay ruin to our expectations and, fortunately, such was not the case as we shall see. Read on to find out my thoughts on one of the most anticipated rock/metal shows in Denmark this year.

Coheed And Cambria

Perhaps the most notable aspect about Coheed and Cambria's performance tonight is that aesthetically, it is the perfect complement to the band's music. Bathed in murky lights that all but obscure the band from view, the sci-fi universe of "The Amory Wars" sounds that much more convincing - or would sound that much more convincing, were the audio mix not a horrendous maelstrom of bass and blur. Only an alert listener or an avid fan has a chance at figuring out what songs are played ("In Keeping Secrets", "Ten Speed", "No World For Tomorrow" and "Welcome Home" are the ones I can make out), which of course is no fault of the band themselves, but still reduces the impact of their performance tremendously. If, somehow, one's ears can filter the noise out, though, there's lots to behold here, from Claudio Sanchez's signature behind-the-head guitar solos to the flawlessly executed technicality that governs the band's music. The frustrating chorus girls we saw accompany the band some years ago are also gone, which gives Claudio much more presence on stage (notwithstanding the fact that his face is persistently obscured by his curly hairdo), but then, on the flipside, so are the inexplicable but incessantly awesome harmonies that guitarist Travis Stever used to do in parallel with his guitar and mouth. Chris Pennie behind the drumkit is, of course, a chapter of his own. Despite the fact that he will be dearly missed by fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, his antics with the skins add a whole other dimension to Coheed and Cambria's music (though, in this case, a dimension so pronounced it drowns out the rest of the band discounting Michael Todd on the bass). But the fact still remains that the sound quality is so stupifyingly awful that most of these features are irrelevant, and when the band decides to cut both "In Keeping Secrets..." and "Welcome Home" short (not including the epic sing-along parts in the end of both songs). there really is little to rejoice about Coheed and Cambria's show tonight.

Deftones

Initially, the sound problems seem to spill into Deftones' mix as well - opening track "Rocket Skates" sounding more like a jumbo jet taking off - the issues diminish with every passing song. Deftones come at us with frightful might from the get go, unleashing some of their heaviest produce first (the already mentioned "Rocket Skates", "Around the Fur" and "My Own Summer"), but the amount of variation in the band's discography ensures that even with a set stretching across 23 songs there isn't a single ounce of boredom to be endured. Part of this owes to vocalist Chino Moreno's athletic stage presence; part to Abe Cunningham's twisted, polyrhythmic drumming (which transcends its role on the albums and becomes one of the most central elements in the band's show tonight); and part to the collective joy with which the band performs.

But Mr. Cunningham is not the only one distorting and experimenting with his parts tonight; no, Chino, too, spices a song or two up with his personal touch - like a prolonged pig squeal during a break note in one song, the name of which now escapes me, or the Fred Durst'esque MC'ing he carries out in, and in between songs. Details like these are a testimony to just how experienced and different Deftones is, although the songs themselves, ranging from dream pop and emotionally charged alternative rock to crushingly heavy nu metal and overwhelming extremity.

The level of energy remains consistently high, with the band showing no signs of fatigue or intention to ever stop. In fact, perhaps the best metaphor to describe the show with is to refer to it as an exponentially increasing curve of intensity, culminating in first a chilling quartet in "When Girls Telephone Boys", "Minerva", "Passenger" and "Change (in the House of Flies)"; then in a four-part encore fresh off the band's debut album "Adrenaline" in the form of "Birthmark", "Engine No. 9", "Root" and "7 Words". Shit, into the last eight songs Deftones are able to pack more punch and effect than most band's can pull of in an entire set, regardless of how long such a set may be.

My only criticism, thus, stems from the fact that despite Chino's best efforts to make intimate appearances at the barrier as often as possible, the show somehow feels less intimate than it did at Copenhell last summer, as though the band is somehow on autopilot, more concerned with packing as many songs into their allocated slot than with connecting with the audience. Then again, judging from the frenzied crowd response, no one seems to care, as each song melts into the crowd like butter and in turn transforms it into a unified, hyper-energetic organism hypnotised by the music.

8

Setlist:

01. Rocket Skates

02. Around the Fur

03. My Own Summer (Shove It)

04. Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)

05. Elite

06. Knfe Prty

07. Digital Bath

08. Diamond Eyes

09. CMND/CTRL

10. Risk

11. Beauty School

12. Xerces

13. Prince

14. You've Seen the Butcher

15. Sextape

16. When Girls Telephone Boys

17. Minerva

18. Passenger

19. Change (in the House of Flies)

--Encore--

20. Birthmark

21. Engine No. 9

22. Root

23. 7 Words

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