I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain why the music of Deftones means so much to me. There is something deep inside the sound that they make that resonates with me more than anything else that I listen to and my existence is made 1 million per cent more awesome when I hear their songs. It has been a 15 year love affair that continues to grow with each passing year and like a lot of my favourite bands they now exist in that very special arena where they remain flawless. They just do the whole making music thing right and whether they are in fashion or out of fashion doesn’t bother me, they are pure class.
Entering a sold out Tivoli last night to finally witness my very first stand-alone live experience with Deftones made me realise just how special this band is to not just me but so many other people. The joy, admiration and passion on display last night from the audience was one of those life affirming moments when you realise that humanity has the ability to be joined together in peace and unity. Every inch of the Tivoli was united last night with love and affection with Deftones providing the soundtrack to what felt like a celebration of not just great music but of how amazing life really is.
After the usual support band shuffle Deftones arrived on stage one by one, I had a rush of emotion as each member took the stage. As soon as Chino Moreno entered the stage with that cool almost rhythmic waltz the crowd went absolutely nuts. I was personally overcome with emotion; again, there is something about the presence of Chino Moreno that just overwhelms me. From when I was 15 years old, one of the human beings I wanted to grow up and be was Chino Moreno. Much like Deftones music, there is something about him as an artist and human being that resonates with me over a lot of others. It is unexplainable and as I gaze at my music collection I see a lot of artists he’s turned me onto as a result of his influence. Simply put, Chino Moreno is a fucking star and I can’t help but applaud his very presence, the man is incredibly iconic in my world. This was one of the many moments during the night where I was thrust into an ultramega “life is fucking amazing” headspace. The emotion of seeing Deftones enter the stage sent shivers down my spine and the band hadn’t even played a fucking note of music. I kept reminding myself, “Just keep it together” and with that thought I start to hear the first riff of the night serenade my ears, that big beautiful riff of “Rocket Skates” and within seconds the celebration of life is in full procession.
There are so many set list highlights to mention but I think I’ll focus on the moments that affected me the most. The first emotional highlight came when those chords of “Be Quiet and Drive (far away)” filled the room. This was the moment where I just surrendered to the moment and let the pure happiness and emotion of that song wash over me. I tried my best to swallow the emotion of it all but this was the first moment where I felt tears come from me. Here I was listening to a song that has been a saviour for me for half of my natural life being played by the human beings who made it famous. Judging from the audience’s reaction I have a feeling I wasn’t the only human totally overcome with emotion in that moment. Inside the sway of “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” are good memories and bad memories of my life from 15 to 30. All of the times I needed to escape the cruelty of this world or some human relationship I was drowning in. All of the emotion I felt in that moment of hearing the song live pushed me to a point of maximum happiness.
This moment was repeated once again with maximum effect during “Digital Bath” and “Change (In The House Of Flies)” with my tears of joy peaking during the latter song. You have to understand these are songs that have been ingrained in my musical DNA for so long with every good and bad moment of my life being soundtracked by these songs and this band. Hearing Chino hit that moment in “Digital Bath” – my favourite Deftones track of all time – sent a million shivers all over my body and that was the point where I just let the tears of joy flow, fuck man, it was powerful. I thought by this point that all of my emotional energy was spent but once again this cycle was repeated during every note of “Change (in the house of flies)” and by this point I don’t think you could of encountered me in a more happier state of bliss. You could have whispered in my ear after that moment “Dan, unfortunately in the next two minutes you will die” and I would have left my physical uniform and gladly gone into the great unknown of death with a very happy and satisfied mind.
That is the power of Deftones and the music they make and the effect it has on me as a human being. I mean, fuck, that is the power of music in general when it is functioning on a deep and intense level. It has the ability to not just change your mood but elevate it to a place where you can encounter the rush of pure happiness and like a drug that is the rush I’m pretty sure all of us chase with all of the music we listen to on a daily basis. Those moments of pure bliss may be brief but is so powerful and life affirming that it suspends you inside a glow for days afterwards leaving you plugged into the notion that life is an amazing thing to behold. That is when I belive in humanity and that is when I feel blessed that human beings like Deftones exist. They are almost like these divine messengers who have the ability to unite us all even if it is for just two hours on a Tuesday night in May.
Deftones write dark beautiful music that come alive as celebration hymns in the live arena. You can tell they are a band that loves each other and the audience they perform for. Last night proved that Deftones have become a new modern classic rock n roll band who’ll go down in history as one of the most important bands to have ever existed.
I love you deeply Chino, Stephen, Abe, Frank and Sergio for providing such a wonderful and life affirming night of music.
As I like to say in moments like this, last night Deftones reminded me that there is still good air to breathe.
10 million cassette tapes out of 10
By: Dan Newton xo
Deftones Brisbane Set List – 14th May 2013 at The Tivoli
1. Rocket Skates
2. Diamond Eyes
3. Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
4. My Own Summer (Shove It)
7. You’ve Seen The Butcher
10. Digital Bath
13. Swerve City
14. Around The Fur
17. Change (In The House Of Flies)
18. Bloody Cape
20. Engine No. 9
21. 7 Words