Deftones – Kool Haus, Toronto – March 1 2013
By Samantha Wu
Photos by Walid Lodin
It’s been a hell of a ride for Sacramento native rockers the Deftones. With a monumental musical career lasting close to 15 years that includes their seventh studio album, Koi No Yokan, released last year, and the tragic car accident befalling their bassist Chi Cheng back in 2008, an accident that he is still slowly recovering from.
Yet despite the tragedy that has left the band with the need to replace their bassist indefinitely (Sergio Vega stepped up to the plate in 2009), the Deftones have continued to forge their sound and craft, satisfying their legions of dedicated followers while drawing new dedicates to the flock. Earlier this week, they made a stop at the Kool Haus to grace Toronto fans with an adrenaline fueled start to their weekend.
Standing outside in the blistering cold while waiting with other fans to get in, discussions of the highly anticipated show began. Rumors abounded that despite a recently released album, the band would favor older classics rather than showcasing newer material – a present for long-term fans.
This did turn out to be the case as the Deftones opened their show with fan favorite single off their album Around the Fur, “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”, a more melodic offering before launching into a significantly heavier song, “Lotion”. The crowd erupted for an instantaneously recognizable track, one of my personal favorites, “Minerva”, prompting much impromptu dancing and singing along.
What I appreciate about a Deftones performance is the lack of pretention in stage dressing. Yes, they used lighting effects to their benefit, adding to the visual appeal, but it was minimal. Deftones are a band that allows the music and the expression to speak entirely for itself, knowing full well what the crowd wants and what they came for, and they take care not to let anything else get in the way of that enjoyment. Lead Chino Moreno took a few moments to thank Toronto fans for their continued dedication and support but even that was kept to a minimal, not to interfere with the flow of the music.
Not to completely forego their new material, Deftones gave fans a decent sampling from Koi No Yokan, including “Tempest”, “Rosemary”, ‘Swerve City”, and “Poltergeist”. Their new album is a perpetuation of the band’s signature sound – heavy emotive metal with a significant melodic element. They perpetuate this sound without being repetitive and staying new and innovative.
Rounding out the evening’s performance, in a rather touching moment, the band toned down the mood in an introspective turn with “Riviere” in proud dedication to Chi Cheng. The crowd, feeling for the much beloved bassist, echoed their respect. Following that - another fan favorite, possibly the Deftones’ most famous song “Change (In the House of Flies)”, a song that received much radio airplay and featured prominently on the soundtrack for the movie Queen of the Damned. With lighters in the air, the crowd sang along.
Deftones closed out their show with a two song explosive encore – “Root” instigated much crowd surfing and moshing from the diehards in the audience. “7 Words” rocked the masses with a fueled and erratic conclusion leaving an adrenaline infused crowd to disperse for the night, bottlenecking through the doors to venture into the frigid Toronto air.
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
My Own Summer (Shove It)
You’ve Seen the Butcher
Riviere (dedicated to Chi Cheng)
Change (In the House of Flies)
Engine No. 9