Wednesday night saw Adelaide’s Thebarton Theatre packed to the rafters as the Deftones came to town. Fans lined up for hours prior to doors opening to get the much sought-after barrier position. In Australia for Good Things Festival, which starts in Melbourne tomorrow, Adelaide scored their only sideshow which was sold out impressively quickly.
Getting our night underway was Australian ‘Death-pop’ duo Vowws. Standing on opposite ends of the stage and shrouded in smoke Matt James (vocalist/guitarist) and Rizz (vocalist/keyboards) radiated an aura of mystery which was only amplified by their music. Chaotically beautiful comes to mind when trying to describe the performance that followed. Weighty guitar riffs, haunting synth notes and some extraordinary time signatures wrapped around us. Vowws live are a sonic experience to immerse yourself in and I am sure they scored some new followers from this set. The Season, Prague, One by One and Symbol System reverberated around the room as we watched in awe. If you get the chance, I highly recommend checking out a Vowws live show.
The anticipation in the air was palpable as we waited for the Deftones to grace the stage. Tightly wound bodies of all ages swayed then erupted as the band appeared. Frontman Chino Mareno made his way centre of the stage to the opening notes of Genesis from their 2020 album Ohms. Chino’s alluring vocals wash over us. “We’re climbing out of the ashes” sums up the feeling as live music and international acts return.
Moving swiftly into Diamond Eyes, the melodic beat of the drums instinctively sees the crowd pendulate. An impressive discography provides magical moments but the opening riff for My Own Summer (Shove It) sends the crowd into a frenzy. Airborne bodies floated across the crowd, horned hands raised into the air and the crowd became a choir.
Digital Bath allows us to take a moment to appreciate the musicianship Deftones have in spades and the punters turn the notch back up to eleven as bodies crash and bounce against each other.
Sextape grants a reprieve as we catch our breath albeit for a moment. Rosemary, Be Quiet and Drive (Far Awa) and Change, Chino and the boys didn’t let up with providing something for every fan. Closing with Headup the crowd took the lyrics ‘Fly high, So fly, Fly free’ literally and once again the air was filled with flailing bodies.
Complimenting the night’s performance, an intricate and perfectly orchestrated light show surrounded the band. Beams of light crisscrossed the stage in perfect time whilst shapes faded in and out around the band as the stage backdrop continually changed.
Two hours of music heaven draw to a close as the fans make it known that we do want the night to end. Silhouettes returned to the stage to cheers, as guitars grind the opening riff to Ohms. The words ‘This is our time’ ring true as we forget the world and let ourselves get lost to the moment. Fittingly, for a school night, the band take us home with Back To School. A wall of grinning people, moving to the sounds of one of the best bands around, was a sight to see and an amazing way to end the evening. This was not just a gig but a Deftones experience