After last year’s show was postponed following the tragedies at the Bataclan in Paris, tonight Deftones are headlining one of the biggest arenas in the United Kingdom.
However, unlike the previously booked gig, Architects are not supporting tonight, having been replaced by noisy newbies BLACK PEAKS . The progressive metallers’ last London show was at the tiny Borderline club, but you wouldn’t know it tonight, as they grasp the opportunity to play to thousands by the balls and scream in its face. Glimmering with ferocity and dynamism, it’s a biting display of passion and potential from one of UK’s rock’s brightest stars. The curious crowd slowly begin to warm to the riotous Brightonians as more and more phones pop up to capture the moment, with Will Gardner commanding from front and centre, delivering the most powerful rendition of Say You Will of their career. Their time is now.
It almost feels sacrilege to say that DEFTONES  don’t match up to their predecessors on the night but they can’t capture the same fire Black Peaks have left burning onstage. It’s by no means a poor performance – Deftones are incapable of a bad show these days – but they struggle to maintain momentum throughout the near-20-song setlist, lulling a little in the middle. That said, Chino Moreno is adrenaline personified as he stomps and screams around the stage amidst a shower of lasers and backed by a projector screen. The floor has long been full of bodies from wall to wall, with visible waves surging through the crowd as the masses clamber to get close to their heroes, who effortlessly pack in planet-sized anthems Swerve City, My Own Summer and Prince. But despite releasing new album Gore earlier this year, only two songs from said opus rear their heads amid this career-spanning greatest hits onslaught. Big hitters like Passenger, Minerva and Headup fail to air, but Change (In The House Of Flies) is staggering in its size and the strength of its connection with over 10,000 people of all ages. Closing in a cloud of dry ice with a rousing rendition of How I Could Just Kill A Man over the PA further cements the band as legends, but with just under half an hour left before curfew and the band hitting their stride, it’s disappointing not to see more.