Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Commodore Ballroom
Vancouver, BC Canada
***Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland
The first night sold out…
Then the second…
Then the third.
Despite having played Vancouver just sixteen months earlier, Sacramento, CA-based alt-rockers Deftones still managed to sell out The Commodore Ballroom (capacity 900+) for an impressive three consecutive nights. The Commodore can get pretty steamy with a full house on the coolest of evenings but as the mercury outside soared well past thirty degrees Celsius, it was almost unbearably hot in front of the stage and in the photo pit. After the first three songs, my hair looked as if I had just stepped out of the shower and my clothes clung to me like a second skin. It was all in a night’s work, though, as Deftones commanded the stage for the whole of their hour-and-forty-minute set.
Considering Deftones nearly broke up during the recording of their latest album, 2006’s SATURDAY NIGHT WRIST, the band—Chino Moreno (vocals), Stephan Carpenter (guitar), Chi Cheng (bass), Abe Cunningham (drums) and Frank Delgado (turntables/programming)—was firing on all pistons throughout their nineteen-song set. Before the band hit the stage, a droning electronic intro combined with a snazzy light show set the mood. Throughout the show, a massive backdrop full of computer-driven lights projected various images behind the band that proved as distracting as it did eye-catching. Vocalist Chino Moreno, who became significantly pudgier in the last few years, has shed much of that excess weight, appearing fit and full of energy. Moreno repeatedly leapt from the stage-front riser and side speakers, bounding around in full defiance of the incessant heat and his thirty-four years.
Musically, the band left no stone unturned with each of their five albums getting plenty of coverage, though 2003’s lesser-received self-titled release featured only one song. SATURDAY NIGHT WRIST’s best material—the abrasive freak-out of “Rats!Rats!Rats!” and the soothing “Hole In The Earth,” “Beware” and “Cherry Waves”—mingled well with those taken from the band’s 1995 debut, ADRENALINE, with “Root” faring the best while the nu-metal chug of “7 Words” and repeated cries of “Suck! Suck!” sound a bit dated in 2007. A searing version of the title track from AROUND THE FUR left many in the crowd breathless, while “Change (In The House of Flies)” had everyone engaged in an ethereal, dreamlike sing-along of the chorus. Moreno’s influence by shoegazer bands like Morrissey and The Cocteau Twins came through on jaw-dropping versions of “Digital Bath” and “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” as the singer’s buttery-smooth, clean vocal croon stretched towards the pained wails of the chorus and Stephan Carpenter’s squealing riffs. Carpenter’s biting six-string attack on “Nosebleed” and “My Own Summer (Shove It)” remain as punishing today as they did ten years ago. Frank Delgado, becoming ever more prominent of a member of this band, really made his presence known adding ambient flourishes and samples to the mix. Even the rhythm section of Chi Cheng and Abe Cunningham—a backbone of “7 Words” and the progressive-leaning “Passenger”—thundered through the songs.
My Own Summer (Shove It)
When Girls Telephone Boys
Hole In The Earth
Around The Fur
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
Back To School (***on written setlist but not played***)
Change (In The House of Flies)
With this being the first of three nights in Vancouver, it is certain Deftones changed their setlist with each show and for those lucky enough—or rich enough—to be able to take in each show, consider yourselves honoured. As a videographer scuttled around the stage area, Moreno mentioned the filming of a DVD, so this run of dates may end up recorded for commercial release later on. Take it from someone who was there: it would be worth every penny!
***Thanks to Kelli at Live Nation for the press pass.