Alexandra palace is one heck of a venue filled with majesty and wonder. Looking out into the London skyline it's hard to think about the types of bands worthy of playing the palace. We then remember that we are here to see the mighty and magnificent Deftones a band with a rich and vibrant history in metal giving them the credentials more than worthy of playing one of the hottest shows of the year.
We did wonder if this day would actually happen after the recent news of frontman Chino Moreno breaking his foot a few days prior causing them to cancel a date in France, yet here we are, the excitement filling the air as multiple bus loads of people continue to join the queues in anticipation more than an hour after the doors opened. There's certainly a mixture of fans out for what will be a great Friday night as AFI have taken what can only be assumed as a much desired support slot to the delight and (and potentially dismay) of many people responding with mixed reactions. It feels like many moons ago since we saw this band grace our stage. It left die hard fans giddy with excitement and everyone else thinking if they were even a thing anymore. Regardless for those who have squeezed themselves to the front, AFI prove to be the throwback they longed for. Kicking straight into ‘Girls Not Grey’ the crowd as well as the band themselves erupt. Say what you want, you can’t deny the bands ability to get the party started even if the Deftones fans are somewhere at the back sulking. It's not a bad performance. Short, sweet and too the point making way for the colossal Deftones setlist. With fan favorites such as ‘Leaving song Pt II’ and ‘Miss Murder’ which closes the set, its hard not to see just how much fun the band and their fans had on what they would probably both consider as a long and overdue return to the UK live music scene.
The sold out crowd are really showing up in force now. Its easy to forget just how big Alexandra Palace is and this is acknowledged later in the set as Frontman Chino Moreno thanks those in the crowd mentioning that they have been to the UK plenty of times but they’ve never seen anything quite like this for them. That being said, Deftones are nothing short of absolutely exceptional providing not only the best version of themselves this very day but a jam packed set list that will make even the most hardcore and hard to pleas fan weep with joy.
Limping on to the stage the broken foot from earlier in the week didn't appear to be a bother much to the delight of the fans as Chino bounces around the stage in his usual form. His infectious screams and howls down the mic are more than enough by its self to get the fans excited but when you consider the band begin the show with ‘Korea’, ‘Elite’ and ‘My Own Summer’, it turns what is your usual rock show into an absolute frenzy of sing alongs and a sea of moving bodies.
‘Swerve city’ gets everyone jumping up and down in delight as things really start to heat up. The venue becoming one giant hot and sweaty party. The energy that emanates from the band is also too much for anyone to be standing there not moving even if it's just as much as a cool guy head nod, if you can sit through this performance and not move one part of your body, you ain't right son!
‘Phantom Bride’ makes its UK debut showing that ‘Gore’ (which is well represented tonight) can throw down with the rest of the Deftones back catalogue. It fits in perfectly. If you are Deftones fan and you were not in attendance on this evening, you missed plenty of little treats. ‘Digital Bath’, ‘Change (In The house Of Flies)’ and ‘Passenger’ were played in all of its majestic glory. Faces of absolute delight and awe as the ‘White Pony’ favorites are played.
We have emphasized it plenty in this article. This night was special. So special it is a contender for gig of the year. Deftones are not the band they used to be. For some may not like this, but there isn’t a doubt in our mind. The band are at their current peak. This is the best they have been and the progression through the years leading up to ‘Gore’ and this tour, it leaves us so exited for what comes next.