Quicksand - Pitchshifter
Nov 24th 1998
Metropolis, Montreal, PQ, Canada
It's strange that I consider the Deftones to be some of the lightest music I listen to, when the alternative crowd considers them as heavy as their go. In fact. this band is really brutal, just not in a speed / satanic vocals kind of way. This brutality comes from pure, unbridled anger at the world. And I'd have to say that their style can easily be enjoyed by both the mainstream and the most underground fan (considering the type of crowd that appeared at the Metropolis last night).
The concert started out with two opening acts, Pitchshifter from England who did a pretty good set, mixing singing, samples, distorted guitar riffs and techno beats. The next band, Quicksand, was ok, but they didn't vary their songs too much (ie, the same beat for almost 45 minutes), the riffs were just a lot of distorted strumming, and they violated the first rule of performance, always leave the audience wanting more.
At about 10, some creepy symphonic music started up, getting louder and louder. Seemed out of place actually, probably an intro more appropriate for a Sinister concert or something. Anyways, the band finally blasts onto the stage, and immediate starts pumping most of the songs from their two albums. 'My Own Summer (Shove It)', 'Mascara', 'Around The Fur', 'Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)', 'Lotion', 'Mx', 'Bored', 'Nosebleed', 'Lifter', and 'Root' are a few songs that I can remember.
The mix was decent, although the vocals were a bit off, the singing parts were fine, but vocal feedback was a major problem for many of the screamed parts. Maybe the sound guy should take some lessons from whoever mike's Phil Anselmo, but it didn't detract too heavily from the music. The whole band did an excellent job playing all the songs perfectly. However, it was the vocalist, Chino Moreno, who really stole the show. The rest of the band was sort of a backdrop to this guys wild antics. First, on a personal note, this guy totally reminded me of a friend of mine, short black hair, goatee and mustache, like a hyperactive imp from hell. He ran and bounced around the stage switching from screaming to singing on a dime. And when he wasn't on the stage, he was in the crowd, or leaping off 15 foot tall speakers into the violent moshing below. The guards at the front had a tough time keeping him safe. Some of the most memorable moments were when he jumped off the front of the stage, and stood up just at the front of the crowd on the fence. Everyone gathered around and started reaching up towards him, so the concert goers looked like some sort of giant ocean trying to swallow Chino whole. He did this for two of my favorite songs, '7 Words', and 'Engine No. 9'. I have never seen a man scream so violently, and the crowd was going nuts and screaming back. Intensity is the word for it, or maybe oral and auditory rape. I can't imagine how it felt to have this guy screaming 2 inches from your face, but several people in the crowd obviously do now. The energy of the performers and the crowd didn't let up for a second the entire evening.
One quick encore, and the band was off the stage for good. I urge you to see these guys live, words just can't describe it. If you're a hardened death metal fan, don't dismiss this band simply because they're popular, check them out and make up your own mind based on what really matters, the music and intensity of the band. I walked away impressed.
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