Deftones and AFI at Alexandra Palace, London - live review

Sacramento metal heroes dig deep into their vault

Art for Deftones and AFI live at Alexandra Palace, London

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From Black Peaks, to Letlive to Glassjaw, whenever Deftones have graced our shores they’ve been accompanied by cracking support bands and tonight is no exception. This is AFI’s [7] first appearance in the UK in seven years and the perfect time for them to return, given recent full-length, The Blood Album, contains some of their best songs since 2006’s Decemberunderground. Time has transformed their music from razor-sharp punk to glassy, new-wave romanticism, yet it seems to be moving backwards for frontman Davey Havok, whose limber performance would put most men half his age to shame. Fans punch the air with glee as the band open with anthemic classic Girl’s Not softwareuiphraseguid=“1a38a222-d60f-4a5b-bf2e-d8582bd6a42a”>Grey, but the majority of the crowd remain positively apathetic. Added to that, the sound in Ally Pally’s cavernous hall simply isn’t playing ball, muddying the glistening, supple melodies of Snow Cats and I Hope You Suffer, meaning the set isn’t the triumph it should have been.

The reaction for DEFTONES [9] couldn’t be more different. Last week frontman Chino Moreno broke his foot onstage, but you wouldn’t think it to watch him stomp through an incendiary set that packs in a savage Elite, My Own Summer (Shove It) and a colossal Swerve City, all within the first half a dozen tracks. Sound gremlins resurface for the first half an hour, but the majority of this ardent crowd really couldn’t care less and an electric atmosphere never wanes once. Before the start of the tour, the band revealed this time round they would be treating fans to some deep cuts they haven’t played in a long time and the crowd go absolutely mental as they kick things off with Korea, a White Pony track they haven’t played since 2011. Later the Sacramento metallers delve really deep, airing Teething, their little-known addition to The Crow: City Of Angels soundtrack and Back To School (Mini Maggit), a firm fan favourite but a song they’ve only played a handful of times since its release back in 2000. The real highlight, though, comes with a monumental rendition of Passenger, after which you suspect quite a few people in the room can now die happy. At this point in their career Deftones pretty much guarantee an awesome show, but tonight is something really special.

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.