Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer / Gig Photos by Lee Allen

Deftones

First Up. Whenever I see bands like Three Trapped Tigers I’m convinced I’ve been transported to an ATP festival in the cold depths of winter. They are a band for 2am when you are getting your second wind on the dance-floor.

Three Trapped Tigers
Three Trapped Tigers
Three Trapped Tigers

The synth keys are evocative of early Onelinedrawing when Jonah used to cart around a hacked R2D2 drum machine. An instrumental band with balls as visceral sounds fade into the air and the drummer hammers the skins that give them them an edge over other such acts.

Three Trapped Tigers

You want to see these guys in the belly of a boat where the depth of the reverb can be felt to its fullest. Their closing track was evocative of Vangellis’ Blade Runner score. They made me believe I was listening to the soundscape for a replicants life, from manufacture to their panic at having a shelf life. If Philip K. Dick had been a musician then this is what he would have been creating.

Letlive
Letlive
Letlive

“To be a man is to realise women are stronger than we are” – Jason Aalon Butler – singer of Letlive

Letlive

I have been prepped about Letlive for the last year, from the tales of gigs I’ve missed, to the best of Jason clips on youtube. I was informed of the beast he unleashes on stage and had seen the pre warm up prep he goes through before show time hits. Jason is a caged tiger that’s is ready to attack. The energy is fierce and raw. Whilst these uncontrollable levels of energy seek focus, the delivery can be patchy. But you just don’t care. Seeing a musician perform with such passion and commitment is infectious and it’s what you pay your money to see. There is nothing worse than your favourite band looking like they don’t want to be there and i’m sure with Letlive that if that possibility was ever likely, then they’d end it.

Letlive
Letlive

My Letlive photographer spirit guide told me there is a perfect moment in their set where everything comes together, from the performance, the crowd, the delivery and the songs. He was right and for the second half of the set it was both perfectly executed but also unnervingly emotive. You may ask why unnervingly. The rest of the band are just as committed and passionate in their delivery as Jason but you can’t help but feel you are watching the unravelling of a court jester. Trained to perform but on the edge of reason as he searches for some kind of, insert bollocky term here but, inner peace. I may say bollocky but there is something of Heath Ledger’s Joker lurking there.

Deftones
Deftones

I’ve digressed, essentially if you’re a post hardcore fan, enjoy the screaming with occasional solid melody then check em out. You won’t be disappointed and the live show is worth it. On this occasion though it seemed the beast had been tamed by venue restrictions preventing a full on Jason walk about.

Deftones
Deftones

Show Time. From Three Trapped Tigers to Letlive, the support choices feel perfectly placed as part of a Deftones masterpiece to deliver the final thrilling act. Simply put, they killed it. If you’re a diehard fan you might like to know it’s the same set list each night, although Chino tempted us with the opening lines of Greased Lightning but the masses were too slow to catch on.

Deftones
Deftones

Deftones continue to be too cool for school. Chino oozes his usual brand of sex appeal and smooth vocals that send the 50% female gig goers insane. With his added brand of slo-mo dance moves, he really does get you everytime. The rest of the band don’t really try to compete in the cool stakes but the wind machine for, bassist, Sergio Vega’s hair gives him air cooled support.

Deftones
Deftones

It was a well balanced mix of old and new with the only glaring omission being Back to School. With the new album Koi No Yokan being so critically acclaimed and opening with such a fierce track as Swerve City, I was disappointed they didn’t open the show with it. It was a night of old favourites and hearing the new tracks live for the first time.The crowd went insane. Chino looked happy and the house lights went up so the band could see us all.

Deftones delivered big time. There isn’t really anything else to say. If you missed them this tour you’ll regret it.

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