Deftones / Coheed & Cambria

22. November 2010, Live Music Hall, Cologne, Germany

In part two of our new series „we actually only came to see the support band but, alright, since we’re already here, let’s check out the main band as well“ we, this time, encounter Coheed and Cambria (support) and the Deftones (main act) in Cologne. I had some doubts before the gig whether these two would really fit together. Cause there isn’t much both bands have in common, apart maybe from the fact that two frontmen cannot deny their Latin American heritage. Musically though, Coheed and Cambria prefer more progressive sounds, which rather appeal to a very special audience, whereas almost everyone who likes Alternative Metal will enjoy some Deftones now and then. And almost on time the evening’s proceedings are kicked off with the four guys from New York and the surrounding area in the well-attended Live Music Hall.

Coheed & Cambria
Since „our“ last gig, many years have passed and so I was eagerly waiting for this gig to start. And there they were, engulfed in dim light – my favourite band. And very secretively, the 50-minute set began with the title track of their second album “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth”.

In their home country they are a lot more popular than here in mainland Europe but, certainly, the band hoped to win over some new fans with this special guest slot. Honestly, though, the guys don’t really make it easy for newbies, at least not tonight. Everyone plays his instrument very focused and professionally; the audience, however, is more or less left to take care of itself. I’m going for dancing and singing along, most other people rather decide to stand and watch. This imaginary barrier between band and crowd is only rarely broken down, from either side. Only with Welcome Home both sides connect, some vocal contributions from the crowd result in a smile from the stage.

Only at the end there’s time for some guitar tricks, for which the crowd had already waited. Showmen are found in other bands, not with Coheed! Here, the music is the most important thing and tonight it was mostly the older, more energetic songs that got at least some people’s behinds swinging in a rhythmic fashion.

The song selection was pretty well-balanced; there was at least one song from each of the five albums, from the latest Year of the Black Rainbow even three. At the end, the applause faded maybe a bit too quick for my taste. Well, at least they made one person very happy tonight…and maybe some will check out one of the guys’ records, it’s definitely worth it!

The Deftones then delivered a proper dose of ‘adrenaline’, even the ‘white pony’ got ‘diamond eyes’! Err, alright, I stop now. Definitely, though, this was a whole different ball game that what we had witnessed before with Coheed. The moment the show starts, Deftones frontman Chino Moreno goes ballistic. Right, left, up or down he is everywhere and screams at the audience – of course, in the good, musical way.

On stage there’s something like a ramp, which the frontman climbs onto to subjugate the crowd, so to speak. And he really has an easy job for it tonight. From the beginning on, the audience loyally obeys its new master. The only question remaining is, for how long can the master continue to pace around on stage and shout at the same time? Long – because until the bitter end almost no signs of fatigue become apparent. After over one hour with more than 20 songs, he is still professionally able to scream, this fitness routine deserves huge respect!

More respect deserves the stage setting, which probably has the electricity bill go through the roof every night. The whole back wall is equipped with spotlights, which, however, give the gig very special visual impressions. The setlist should have made almost everyone happy, too. Especially, their new song Diamond Eyes proves to be killer and could soon knock other Deftones classics like My own Summer, Change and Minerva (all played tonight) off their throne.

So, what have we learnt? The Deftones are not only a good studio band but are also live absolutely worth seeing. And I think they should release a fitness DVD soon!

And the moral of the whole story, sometimes it’s better when opposites don’t attract. This goes at least for the guys of Coheed, who got clearly outshined by the Deftones and so, like a black rainbow, their gig was probably largely overlooked.

Kathleen Gransalke

Editor for Reviews - translations, reports, photos - - - Favorite genres? - Punk, Rock, Death Metal, Mathcore - - - Favorite bands? - Coheed & Cambria, Black Dahlia Murder, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon