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Deftones - Barrowlands, Glasgow - 15th February 2013 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 Written by Jonny Rimmer
Deftones - Barrowlands, Glasgow - 15th February 2013 (Live Review)

Can we rank this Californian quintet among the greats yet? If we're talking sheer consistency, Deftones score highly, maintaining a standard of output that is at least as strong as any metal band in the world. From the exuberant 'Adrenaline' to the dignified success of 'Koi No Yokan', these guys don't do bad albums (although they themselves seem to disagree).

ImageIn Glasgow tonight, their mid-career “slump” 'Saturday Night Wrist' is avoided entirely, the sort of contentious decision that bands like Deftones can afford to make. Still, performance-wise, this is an excellent return to the live circuit, with an extensive and diverse setlist that showcases their muscular side and more tranquil dimension in equal measure. First support act Three Trapped Tigers appeal to fans of both attributes, with a uniquely schizophrenic sound that takes as much from bass-heavy electronica as it does math rock. Cuts from their album 'Route One or Die' still sound as fresh anything produced in British music over the past year or so, with tracks like 'Cramm' and 'Creepies' dazzling the huge crowd. A special shout must go out to Adam Betts on the drums whose relentless play transforms the tigers' sound into something captivating.

Letlive. (full stop deliberate) are more of a known quantity, but are difficult to judge tonight. Levels-wise, the bass is so ridiculously overbearing throughout their set that I struggle to even detect a melody in the fog. Lively lead vocalist Jason Butler clearly feels a tension and tries to initiate a circle pit from an oddly reluctant crowd, but it is difficult to gauge how well their set is received when it is a minority of hardcore followers that are making most the noise. Deftones have the mix perfect and, luckily, immediately have the crowd in the palm of their proverbial hand. I mentioned the dynamic of their 'muscular' to 'tranquil' dynamic, but it is their utilisation of both elements that makes their sound so unique.

I'm not the first to use the comparison, but bassist Sergio Vega's t-shirt tonight reminds me – Deftones very much embody the same sort of tension between vocalist and guitarist that Marr & Morrissey of The Smiths did. Stephen Carpenter's trademark “chug” exemplifies the band's confidence as they strut their way through 'Diamond Eyes', 'Be Quiet and Drive' and 'My Own Summer' early on in the set. And one cannot ignore the arresting vocals of Chino Moreno, whose drawn out phrasing and well-tempered delivery marks him as one of the great frontmen of our time. Tonight, the likes of 'Change (In the House of Flies)' and new tracks such as 'Entombed' exhibit the band's shoegaze influence, and stand nicely distinct next to metal-orientated tracks like 'Headup'.

Perhaps there is too much of a emphasis on their earlier nu-metal material – as fun as 'Engine No. 9' is, it is the sort of track Deftones have since blown away. In fact the difference between encore '7 Words' and a more composed “banger” like 'Rocket Skates' is pretty tangible, and the set loses slight momentum as they delve into their past. On the flip-side, it does also showcase that the boys are still full of energy, with only a handful of slower songs here to give the crowd a breather. Regardless, Deftones treat Glasgow to a performance that is beyond professional – Chino is still screaming his lungs out, Vega grins his way all the through the set and there is an unbridled energy to the whole affair. They might be well into their third decade, but Deftones are still a sight to behold.

Deftones return to the UK for a performance at this year's Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Click Here to Compare & Buy Reading Festival Tickets.

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