Courtesy of MySpace
Deftones, Direngrey, Fall of Troy
Salt Palace Convention Center
06.23 & 06.24
Deftones had finally come back to Salt Lake City. The last time they were here was December, 2003. Checking their website for the past three and a half years and seeing that they were basically going everywhere but here was really disappointing. Then finally in April, they announced that they were playing not one but two shows at In the Venue. I was ecstatic. I bought my tickets during the pre-sale because I was so paranoid that somehow the shows were going to sell out and I wasn’t going to get to the see the greatest band of all time. I purchased tickets for both shows.
I waited the next two months patiently counting down the days until the Deftones weekend was to arrive. Finally June 23rd came and I was getting ready to leave my house to travel to In the Venue. As soon as I got in my car, a friend called me on my cell and informed me that the concert had been moved to The Salt Palace Convention Center. That was the weirdest thing I had ever heard. I was slightly relieved knowing that any place is better than In the Venue to see a show.
I arrived the first night just as Fall of Troy began their set. I was excited to these guys since I had just bought their new album, Manipulator, and I wanted to see if they could bring it to the table live. Their crowd was small and the sound was crisp and hollow due to the facts that the majority of the attendees were in the extremely long beer line and the show was basically set in a huge concrete room. But the band tried to make the best of it and was oblivious to these two unfortunate circumstances. They played a tight set. Thomas Erak, singer/guitarist, was all over the stage his hair flying all over the place. It’s too bad that the other two members in his band didn’t have the stage presence that Erak did. It would have improved the show dramatically. They tore through the half-hour set that consisted of a mix of tracks from all their albums. I have to say I am bigger fan of the band having seen them live.
Next was the Japanese nu-metal band Dir En Grey. They came out sounding like an Asian version of Disturbed. I thought this was a strange choice for Deftones to have as an opener because of the fact that the band only sings in Japanese, so it was hard to relate to. Although their live set was fairly intense and surprisingly the crowd was really into them despite the fact that all the lyrics were sung in Japanese. Their singer, Kyo, has the widest most diverse vocal range I have heard in long time and this I figured is why the Deftones brought them on tour. Their set was a little long. I would have preferred Fall of Troy to be the second band and Dir En Grey open up. However, the sound did improve slightly, so this gave me hope that when Deftones finally came out, the sound guy would have everything all figured out.
Finally, the time had come--Deftones walked on stage. I thought I was going to pee my pants and slip in it. The intro track began and everyone rushed to the stage. I stayed back a little bit to make sure that I would be able to see everything. Chino came out in his traditional gear, wearing long gym socks up to his knees and a black t-shirt and shorts. The band began their first song and due to the fact that the crowd was screaming so loud and the guitar was so quiet, I had no idea what song it was. By the time the rest of the band kicked in, the guitar was turned up and I realized that they had begun with “Feiticeira” off White Pony. The band tore through an hour and half set, playing a variety of hits and songs off all their records except their fourth record, Deftones, which was strangely absent from their set. However, the did play some of the better songs of the new album Saturday Night Wrist, including “Hole in the Earth”, “Rats!Rats!Rats!” and my favorite song “Cherry Waves." Some of the tracks came off with a sludge-metal slowed down feel such with band hitting hard and slowing the tempo down which increased the heaviness this was most evident on “Around the Fur” and “Bored.” They also-played a few surprising tracks that I didn’t think that Chino would be able to pull off live, including “Passenger” which includes another vocal from Maynard James Keenan of TOOL. Somehow, with the right amount of reverb, Chino was able to sing both sets of vocals on this song perfectly. He was also able to sing the high woman’s moan off “Knife Party”. Chino did the job of three separate vocals--it was very impressive. After the set was over, I was satisfied. Finally, the Deftones had come back to Utah, and I still had one more night to see them.
The next night at the convention center was almost identical to the first night as far as the opening was concerned. Fall of Troy and Dir En Grey pretty much played the same set as they had the previous night, which puzzled me. I didn’t they think that a lot of the people from the first night would be there the second night. I was disappointed because I was hoping to see more of what the two bands had to offer. This made me worry that Deftones were going to play the same set as the night before as well. When they came on stage the band went into “Feiticeira” again and my heart sank. They really were going to play the same set again. But the second song was different from the previous night. They sets were not entirely different, but they did play a few songs that they didn’t play the night before with guitarist Stephen acting as a multi-instrumentalist playing the second bass on “Xeres” and keyboards on “Beware.” They also played “Kimdracula” and all songs off Saturday Night Wrist.
They still could have played the exact same set and I still would have been satisfied with being able to see Deftones two nights and a row. The encore was the highlight of the second night. They came out and played “Minerva,” finally a song from their self-titled album. They closed the weekend with the pounding and brutal “Headup”. It was the perfect way to cap off the Deftones extravaganza weekend. I was glad that I had the opportunity to see my favorite band two nights in a row and I haven’t been able to keep their music out of my stereo or my head since.