Published on August 27th, 2016 | by Isaac Atencio III2
Deftones / Spotlights: Saltair, Salt Lake City, UT 08/20/16
Deftones have been my favorite band since 1997. Ever since around the fur came out I have been hooked. It is now 2016 and my love the band hasn’t really faded. That’s pretty impressive for a band to put out quality music and to still be together for over 20 years (their first album Adrenaline dropped in 1995).
So being as Deftones are my favorite band, it is kind of a given that every time they come to SLC I am at the show.
I am pretty sure I haven’t missed any of their Utah dates since my obsession began. Their show at Saltair on August 20th was no exception. I had to see Deftones for my 10th time.
However, this time around their was an added bonus. One of my new favorite bands Spotlights was opening up. So it made this show extra sweet. Let me give you a quick break down on Spotlights just so you know what’s up. Back in 2012 a band out of San Diego California named Sleep Lady released a killer album called So Long Lonely Ghost that was filled with excellent post rock ambience and crushingness, with hints of angelic vocals mixed. Well a couple of years or so ago half of sleep lady Mario and Sarah Quintero (husband and wife) moved from San Diego to New York and I was honestly a little bummed because I figured that was the end of Sleep Lady.
Now I don’t know if Sleep Lady is done or not, but what has sprung up in Sleep Lady’s place is a new band from the Quinteros called… You guessed it, Spotlights. Now spotlights have basically taken everything that was great about Sleep Lady and put it on steroids while also making it more concise. The heaviness is there the dreaminess is there and the enchanting vocals are there in full force all while tightening up on their sound over all.
Okay so now that you know what is up with Spotlights you can probably guess that their opening set pretty much owned!
I thought they were dope on record, but I wasn’t prepared for how solid and dynamic they sounded live. The band consisting of the Quinteros and fill-in drummer Chris Enriquez tore through an amazing set consisting of songs from both last years release, Demontsration and their recently released album, Tidals. With the highlight of their set being when D-Tones front man, Chino Moreno came out on the second to last song to help Mario with the some guest vocals. Pretty cool considering that this was Spotlights final show of the tour. If their insanely great set hadn’t won over the crowd yet, I’m sure that the Chino cosign convinced any in attendance that were on the edge of fandom that Spotlights are definitely a band worth enjoying. I know I’m a bigger fan after seeing them live. – Jon
There are a number of bands I’ve seen multiple times. Some are even inching towards a dozen times. Deftones is one of those bands.
And although I have only actually seen them seven times, between Jon and I, we have now collectively seen them a combined seventeen times. It’s an interesting thing really. We have seen them in all sorts of venues. Indoors, outdoors, small and large, we have seen them multiple times on the same occasion and some not even knowing the other person was there. Pre B.G.M. days. We’ve seen them before, during, and after original bassist Chi Cheng’s accident, coma, and passing. I will say this about each and every Deftones concert I’ve personally attended, they absolutely bring it live. This concert was no exception.
I will be absolutely honest in saying that I wasn’t completely stoked on going to this show. Having now seen them live so many times, and having been to so many shows through the last couple of years, I second guess a lot of the concerts that come through town and really have to force myself to go. I am usually never really disappointed, it is just a matter of how much I want to go and wade through a crowd.
As soon as Deftones took the stage I was instantly struck by a relatively new feature to their live show.
The band was backed by a whole slew of stage lights, lasers and various light effects. It was definitely the first time that I have personally seen these specific types of light effects at one of their shows. They were something that would have easily been at home at an EDM show, but honestly made sense knowing the band’s and more specifically, Chino’s penchant for borrowing nuances of other music genre’s personality.
Each song played was brought to life in a new way with the lights as they played through their set. Honestly, it was kind of weird to experience their set and having the lights be the major thing that stuck out to me. Not exactly sure why but I was captivated by it. I will also say that in most of the Deftones shows I’ve been to in the past.
My attention is usually focused mostly on Chino bouncing all over the stage, the dude is the ultimate frontman, so charismatic.
There have been occasions in the past where I focused on Abe Cunningham gracefully yet so powerfully playing the drums, and Chi making dreams come true on the bass, but this time round most of my attention was on Steph so effortlessly shredding the riffs that make the D-tones who they are. Ultimately they are nothing super complicated, but they are most definitely one of the truest characteristics of the band. Man oh man, he is so good at what he does. He is truly incredible, and his presence on stage is so inconspicuous and awesome. The way he stays entranced in the same spot, rarely moving, with a fan blowing his hair straight in the air. So dope.
Deftones played a solid set, hitting the obvious crowd favorites, “Digital Bath,” “Passenger,” “Change In The House Of Flies,” “Shove It,” “Be Quiet And Drive,” etc. They mixed them in with a few tracks scattered from Diamond Eyes, Koi No Yokan, and Gore. I was surprised to not hear any tracks from their first album Adrenaline, which I was not completely bummed about, having heard them live many times in the past.
But once again, they very obviously left out tracks from both Saturday Night Wrist (with the exception of “Kimdracula”), and the self-titled record. The latter of which is both Jon and I’s favorite D-Tones record. It is such and underrated album, and aside from the tour that supported it’s release I don’t believe I’ve heard any of the songs played live since! It’s a damn travesty. So here is my plea… Guys if you read this, please, please, reconsider whatever stance you have on the songs from that record. I would love nothing more than to hear “Good Morning Beautiful,” “Battle Axe,” “Deathblow,” and “Bloody Cape,” live.
Here’s to the next show! – Isaac