Let me paint you a picture. It’s Friday evening and the sun is gradually setting whilst I am looking out over good old London town from the top of the hill. Behind me is one of London’s most visually beautiful venues, Alexandra Palace, and home for the night to the Deftones. How could the start to the weekend be any better?
Inside the venue, also known as the People’s Palace, AFI take to the stage and kick off in style with the fan favourite “Girls Not Grey”. What a start as the band powered straight into their fast-paced goth punk causing all heads in the venue to turn towards the stage. Folk left the bar and the whole auditorium migrated towards the stage dancing as they went and singing along to, what was for many, their first introduction to AFI. A few songs later and AFI treat us to a couple of new tracks in the form of “Aurelia” and “Snow Cats”. Of course, this was only a teaser for what AFI had planned for their final four songs. “The Days of The Phoenix” hits the audience like a nuclear blast, louder than ever shaking Ally Pally to its very core. Although clearly exhausted by this unexpected hit of energy only thought possible by the consumption of 100 Red Bulls, no one is ready to rest until the closer “Miss Murder”. AFI played like they were headlining and were worthy of the thunderous applause they received.
Now, many had heard the news that Deftones frontman Chino Moreno had injured himself earlier in the tour that even resulted in a show in France being canceled. Even though the Deftones had got back on the road you could almost cut the tension with a knife, it was clear that some of the audience were concerned that we were in store for a disappointment. These fears are quickly dispelled as the lights lowered and the hypnotic intro to “Korea” echoed around the venue followed quickly by “Elite”. Much to fans surprise, the Deftones dropped the mother of all bombs earlier than expected and “My Own Summer (Shove It)” hits with at least 4.1 on the Richter scale! With hit after hit from “Kimdracula” to “Teething”, it truly felt like the most diverse set list I have ever witnessed covering tunes from every corner of the long career.
There was a clear intention for the Deftones to go out strong when, back to back, they bestowed upon us “Digital Bath”, “Change (In the House of Flies)”, “Passenger” and “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” taking you on the kind of journey that you never want to end.