Deftones have been around for quite a long time now; I remember when I first heard them on what was at the time 92.3 K-Rock sometime around 2000, but they’ve been around since the late 80’s and as such have developed a cult following of sorts for their brand of alternative metal. This past Friday, they brought that cult following to Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk along with special guests Refused. Despite my disdain for the venue, that with its hefty price tag looks and sounds as if it was thrown together with scrap metal and tarp, I continue to go there because it’s an amphitheater in my own backyard that I can walk to if I so choose, and it plays host to some solid music. On this night, my 5-minute journey was to see Deftones, who I never really thought about seeing before, but they were close to home and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
The night began with a band whose name I can’t remember and was not listed on the lineup, who I can only assume were there to warm up the crowd, and then the real show started. I’ll admit right off the bat that I know exactly nothing about Refused, the hardcore punk band out of Sweden that have apparently been around since the early 90’s. Now, I’m not much of a punk fan – Dropkick Murphys are about as punk as I get – but you can tell exactly what these guys are about the minute they hit the stage. Their music is a little darker than most punk bands, with track names like Thought is Blood and Servants of Death, both of which made appearances on their setlist. Lead singer Dennis Lyxzen and company belted out a 9 track setlist that amounted to about 40 minutes of stage time, with Lyxzen spending most of that time flying about the stage when he wasn’t being carried through the crowd mid-performance. As I mentioned, I’m not much of a punk fan, but Refused were definitely fun to watch.
And now it was time for Deftones to hit the stage, much to the joy of their cult fans who made the trek to the southernmost point of Brooklyn on this night. That’s a long trip to make from most points of this city; I’m lucky enough to be able to walk out my door and be at the venue in 3 minutes, which makes covering virtually any rock or metal band that happens to play here an easy choice. That was the case with Deftones, they were right in my own backyard and I couldn’t pass it up, and that turned out to be a wise decision.
Now, I don’t count myself among the masses who worship Deftones, but I do count myself among those who love all things metal, and here is a band I don’t normally rotate into my listening selection often, so I wasn’t at all surprised that I couldn’t name a single song on their setlist. The band opened with Kimdracula, Swerve City and Acid Hologram. I generally don’t listen to the first 3 songs at all, because when you’re in the pit you’re focused on getting wining images for the gallery I get to attach at the end of this, so unless it’s something I know and can sing along to, I start paying attention after the 3rd song.
And pay attention I did, as Deftones delivered 21-song performance that left everyone in the house begging for more. Rocking out to songs including Diamond Eyes, Gore, Tempest, Minerva and Passenger as part of their main set, the band briefly departed the stage to cheers and chants from fans who wanted to hear more for very good reason.
Eventually the band would return to the stage and deliver not one, not two, but four more songs, much to the delight of the diehard Deftones fans who knew all too well that the show would not end with Passenger. The band would play My Own Summer (Shove It), Rickets, Headup and Bored before calling it a night after a near two-hour performance that nobody wanted to see end. By the time all was said and done, nobody in attendance, including myself, wanted to go home. I should probably give Deftones more credit and put them into heavier rotation in my playlist, because they definitely deserve more love than I’ve shown them.
It’s amazing what seeing a band live for the first time does to you as a lover of good music. It gives you a new appreciation for something you may have gotten tired of or thought you didn’t like all that much. A kick ass performance can make you a fan of virtually any band, and that’s what Deftones did to me on Friday night. I’ll give them their due, they put on one hell of a show, and it’s no wonder why they have such a rabid legion of minions.
Check out our photo gallery below.
All photos by Sean Murphy