Live Review: Deftones, Karnivool, Voyager

14 November 2016 | 2:46 pm | Brendan Crabb

"'My Own Summer (Shove It)' dragged grizzled punters out of mosh retirement."

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Perhaps it's an inherent pop sensibility, but prog-metallers Voyager have long projected a personality and demeanour larger than the pub and club venues they've frequented. This was the Perth crew's opportunity to broaden their fanbase and they didn't squander it. Copious energy helped overcome a muddy mix; Sandstorm-infused Lost engaged and confounded in equal measure.

Karnivool reached a status aeons ago whereby supporting just about anyone on home shores no longer seemed viable. Perhaps this was an offer too lucrative to decline, especially since the Perth progressive outfit treated an adoring crowd to a new song sans the responsibility of topping the bill. Ian Kenny dancing like a hard rock Peter Garrett was somewhat off-putting, but endeared them to the faithful. Basing much of the taut 45-minute affair around 2009's Sound Awake, closer New Day left the room baying for proceedings to continue.

That was until Deftones arrived - blinding light show included - for their biggest (non-festival) Sydney headliner yet. Opening one-two Diamond Eyes and Digital Bath reinforced that when straddling pounding heaviness and sublime melodicism - the cerebral and the visceral - few modern heavy bands harness this with as much aplomb as Deftones. In years prior the quality of the quintet's shows often hinged on frontman Chino Moreno's varying degrees of enthusiasm for the task. Nowadays he retained an off-kilter charisma and subsequently maintained a forceful, seasoned presence whether leaping about the stage or getting up close and personal with the front rows. Kudos also to bassist Sergio Vega, whose restless presence has come into its own.

Headup and My Own Summer (Shove It) dragged grizzled punters out of mosh retirement; Engine No 9 gleefully referenced the teenage nu-metal angst of yore while affording counterpoint to latest disc Gore's decidedly more sophisticated fare. On record Deftones have been on a creative hot streak recently, a feat mirrored by increasingly potent performances. This was no exception.

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