Deftones @ The Riverstage Review

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Deftones @ The Riverstage Review Image © Lachlan Douglas
Deftones were at their commercial peak at the turn of the century, which means the majority of their fan base are now in their 30s.

It seemed they’d prefer to spend their Sunday night (13 November) watching from a distance rather than risk getting swept up in a rogue circle pit.

Click here for photos.

In my concern I piled forward to the heart of the action. As Deftones took to the stage, others followed suit. A wave of people piled forward as the band smashed into ‘Diamond Eyes’ and at that moment I knew everything was going to be alright.

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Image © Lachlan Douglas

Frontman Chino Moreno bounded around the stage, his vocals during song’s abrasive verses sounding like a call to arms. The crowd responded appropriately belting out the chorus hooks as limbs flailed and the sweat descended. ‘Digital Bath’ and ‘Kimdracula’ followed, like a couple of long, lost friends whipping the crowd into ever-increasing spirals of furore.

By the time they launch into ‘Rocket Skates’ the pits emerged, audience members scrambling away from or towards the empty space of frenzied motion. Tops came off, the steam visibly rising from the hoards as the punishing Brisbane summer temperatures did no one any favours.

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Image © Lachlan Douglas

‘Acid Hologram’ was a welcome reprieve as the tempo dropped just enough to give everyone a breather. This wasn’t to last long though, as the thumping verse rhythm of ‘Swerve City’ sent the crowd bouncing like a mob of roos on a trampoline. Following it up with ‘Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)’ just felt near irresponsible. “ONE TWO THREE” screamed Chino over the opening guitar line, kindly allowing the masses to know exactly when it was time to explode and give it everything they had.

Despite a brief teaser of ‘Around The Fur’ from drummer Abe Cunningham, the band followed it with the tribal brutality of ‘Headup’. As that track gave way to the instantly recognisable guitar riff of ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ it dawned on me just how many amazing songs Deftones have. Much like Dre, it seemed to be something I had forgotten.

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Image © Lachlan Douglas

At one point Chino motioned for someone unseen in the crowd to come up on stage to join him. Seconds later a child with massive ear protectors was standing alongside him leading the crowd in a count in to the next song. His “ONETWOTHREEFOUR” may have been ridiculously fast, but the band managed to take it in their stride regardless launching into the song with clinical precision.

The pre-encore set closed out with the exquisite ‘Knife Party’. Chino did his best to emulate the inhuman wailing of Rodleen Getsic during the bridge and did a surprisingly good job of it. As he sang “I could float here forever” I couldn’t help but feel the same way.

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Image © Lachlan Douglas

The band returned for an encore of the two highlights from their 1995 debut album ‘Adrenaline’, namely ‘Bored’ and ‘Engine No. 9’. These songs are now over 20 years old but sounded as fresh and vital on The Riverstage as they’ve ever been. It was the perfect end to a perfect set.

As the final notes rang out I walked away sweaty, bruised and feeling ten years younger.

Click here for photos.

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