Deftones - London ULU (12/05/10)

There is more than a hint of surrealism in the air this evening as a larger-than-life band such as the Deftones packing themselves into a tiny venue in the centre of London certainly doesn’t happen that often. Walking around to join the end of the queue on this mildly chilly Wednesday night and it is plain to see the excitement plastered on the faces of the lucky few anxious to witness this rather special event.

Tonight the venue is packed to the rafters with a noticeably more mature audience, many of whom have undoubtedly grown up through the Sacramento 5-pieces’ various musical incarnations. As soon as they hit the stage it is easy to see why the Deftones have built and maintained such a loyal fan base over the years.

Kicking off with free download offering ‘Rocket Skates’ followed by new single ‘Diamond Eyes’, the band prove (not that they had to!) that they still have the ability to write songs that will transform a room into a mass of writhing bodies at the drop of a hat. The intimate venue can barely seem to contain the energy resonating from the stage and it seems at any moment the building will be ripped from it foundations. Unfazed by this, the band plow through a selection of new material with such total professionalism that you would be forgiven for thinking they have been playing these songs for years.

However tonight is not just about the new and ‘When Girls Telephone Boys’, ‘Lotion’ and ‘Feiticeira’ act as a stark reminder of the quality that lies within their extensive back catalogue. The crowd is made to turn back the years with ‘Be Quiet and Drive’ and a belting rendition of ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ and a new leaner-looking Chino Moreno controls the stage, climbing monitors and whirring his microphone above his head with admirable enthusiasm.

Man-mountain Steph Carpenter effortlessly grinds out a selection of the heaviest guitar riffs known to man as stand-in bass player Sergio Vega gives a noteworthy performance in control of the rhythm section.

My personal highlight of the night comes in the form of ‘Passenger’ from 2000’s landmark ‘White Pony’ album and although the track is flawless, there will always be an undeniable sense of disappointment when Tool’s Maynard James Keenan doesn’t appear through a cloud of smoke and lights to sing his parts.

As the hour and 45 min set draws to a close, the band pull out more old crowd-pleasers including ‘Root’ and rapturous sing along anthem ‘7 words’ from debut album 'Adrenaline'.

As the final chord rings out and the crowd begins to disperse, I can’t help but think how much the music world needs bands like the Deftones.

Long may they reign.

Set List

1. Rocket Skates
2. Diamond Eyes
3. Feiticeira
4. Elite
5. Knife Party
6. Passenger
7. CMND/CTRL
8. You've Seen the Butcher
9. Sextape
10. When Girls Telephone Boys
11. Minerva
12. Birthmark
13. Beauty School
14. Be Quiet and Drive (far away)
15. Around the Fur
16. Lotion
17. My Own Summer (shove it)
18. Back to School (mini maggit)
19. Change (in the house of flies)
Encore
1. Root
2. 7 Words

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I am currently in my final year at Winchester University studying Journalism. I hope to become a music journalist although I now realise how difficult it would be to make a living from. Im currently assessing my career options so any suggestions would be welcomed!

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