Live Review: Deftones and Black Peaks – SSE Arena Wembley, London – 03/06/2016

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Having solidified their position as one of the UK’s most promising up-and-coming bands with their debut album ‘Statues’. Tonight gives Black Peaks to tick off another achievement as they open tonight’s proceedings. Opening with the thunderous ‘Glass Built Castles,’ the Brighton quartet produce a sturdy, justified set that doesn’t get lost in Wembley Arena air. Throughout Will Gardner displays his vocal talents; a vicious shriek on ‘Set In Storm’ whilst on ‘To Take The First Turn’ he shows his melodic chops. All the while his band mates battle through with thick blasts of hard rock which are constructed to provide the biggest impact as possible, and on the ‘Drones’ they do just that. Most notably guitarist Joe Gosney produces a stringent display.

‘Say You Will’ and ‘Saviour’ round off a fine display that makes Black Peak worthy of supporting tonight’s headliners in a venue of this magnitude. (4.5/5)

Tonight’s show is a rare opportunity for Deftones to play an arena on these shores. For any band to make the step up from clubs to arenas can be a challenge but over the course of nineteen songs the Sacramento show just why they are one of the most beloved and respected rock bands of recent times.

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Straight from the start, frontman bleach blonde-haired Chino Moreno is upbeat as he darts around the stage as they deliver classic cuts ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’, ‘Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)’, and ‘MX’ early on. Although Steph Carpenter’s guitar is missing that needed crunch, the band as a whole set the pace for how they mean to go on.

‘Swerve City’ reverberates through the arena, serving as one of many highlights. ‘Rosemary’ momentarily drops tempo before ‘Diamond Eyes’ radiantly sees Deftones back on track. Throughout Moreno’s vocals are impassioned with occasional barks and “woo”’s with Carpenter’s restored guitar work proving to be menacing (‘You’ve Seen The Butcher’) and bassist Sergio Vega and drummer Abe Cunningham consistently combine to produce a full and effective rhythm section.

The mid-set hat-trick of ‘White Pony’ numbers; ‘Digital Bath’, ‘Knife Party’, and ‘Change (In The House of Flies)’ is one of the most satisfying portions of the set. Maybe it’s because it is my favourite album of theirs (or youthful nostalgia), or maybe it’s because that these songs still have the power to unite a crowd; no matter how big or small.

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New album, ‘Gore’ is only briefly previewed as ‘Prayers / Triangles’ fills the arena space as its purpose. Whilst ‘Rubicon’ rounded out the main portion of the set yet is one of tonight’s more forgettable offerings. Nevertheless, tonight’s set is a thank you to those who have stuck with Deftones through the years as favourable tracks from ‘Adrenaline’ and ‘Around The Fur’ dominate the later part of the set.

From start to finish, Deftones display a relentless energy that everyone in attendance feeds off. And when combined with an overwhelming and consistent setlist, you’re left with a potentially career defining show.

So can Deftones in arenas be a regular occurrence? After tonight’s showing, they most certainly prove they can be. (5/5)


Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86). Photos by Sam Haines.


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