Live Review: Deftones, Karnivool, Voyager

10 November 2016 | 2:00 pm | Christopher H James

"Moreno demonstrated his versatile talents by simultaneously crooning his guts out and sharing palms with uncountable front row acolytes."

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Fresh from their success at the WAM Awards, Voyager brought their expansive vision of metal to a decent sized throng of early arrivers. Covering all bases both fashionable and extinct (anyone remember funk metal?) they had both the technical chops and nerve to incorporate euro trance anthems from yesteryear. They proved with their good time showmanship that they can still work a crowd even when third on the bill on a Tuesday.

A "fucking psyched" Karnivool were eager to share their brand of angsty prog-metal before a band they clearly admire. Playing themselves in gradually through the likes of the mechanoid beast that is The Refusal and some grinding new material, they saved their anthems for towards the end. One minor gripe was that their otherwise excellent sound was compromised by Metro's club-orientated set-up — for those on the floor the kick drum annihilated the other instruments. The hardcore fans didn't seem to mind, or even notice, as they lurched and pogo-ed through a sweet sticky miasma of sweat and Bundy before an epic New Day had them all singing in unison.

Against flickering, electric blue strip lights, glacial ambient electronica ushered Deftones onto the stage. Singer Chino Moreno showed no lack of agility tip-toe dancing over the front stage monitors in what looked like Michael Jackson's Billie Jean shoes, as the band ripped into Diamond Eyes. It was the first indication of a bravura performance wherein he worked the stage end to end, ably backed by a spring-loaded rhythm section and some demented hooks from axe-man Stephen Carpenter. As white hot versions of Rocket Skates and My Own Summer (Shove It) rang out, it was patently obvious that Deftones have compiled a thoroughly enviable catalogue, as Moreno demonstrated his versatile talents by simultaneously crooning his guts out and sharing palms with uncountable front row acolytes.

The energy waned a little toward the end of the main set, but they found some magic protein pills with which to execute a bouncy encore that culminated with a murderous Engine No 9. Their music may be filled with conflict, rage and despair, but their ear to ear smiles confirmed there's nothing the Deftones love more than playing it.

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