Live Review: Deftones / Glassjaw

by bushman

Riding their own White Pony of success, the Deftones tour for their latest album chose the Palladium for their LA stop. Going to a show at the Palladium (or most specifically gaining entrance to the Palladium) is not a pleasant experience. As a paying client, you are continually barked at in a disrespectful manor by power mad security that in no way realize it’s your patronage that is paying their wages. Then there’s the checklist of items they will confiscate from you. I’ve learned to just bring the essentials, as it’s enough of a chore getting a camera in even if one has press credentials. Seems funny to have to argue with security that by wearing a photo pass, that entitles me to actually have a piece of photography equipment. I KNOW it says “no cameras”. That’s why I have this PASS. I wonder what the entry test is to becoming security. “Well sir, you seem to have an IQ that has prevented you from getting a real job, but hell, you’re 6’3″ and like to push people around. You’ll do just fine.” I completely understand the need for precaution, (you metal kids just can’t be trusted) but I do not understand why they host metal shows (or even more a mystery, why I continue to come here).

Glassjaw has supported this whole tour and tonight’s set reflected a young band hungry to be on the road. The band (minus singer) casually walked on stage, plugged in and stood inches away from their respective rigs, backs to the audience. Then in unison blasted single, pounding notes. “BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!” Then stop. Repeat. Stop. Attack. Stop. All while ignoring the audience and just rattling their own intestines with the proximity to their amps cranked up to stage volume. Different. It got the attention before they exploded into their opening number. Foolish me dismissed their CD not to my liking so I barely recognized a few songs. Glassjaw are incredible live. Tricky transitions and wailing breaks, all executed by a group of fairly young guys that all just seriously go off. There is an erratic heaviness that takes some getting used to, but swallow this pill for it’s definitely a different trip. Napster users check out, “Skiss” which stuck with me from the live show with its little note picking that almost sounds like the Halloween theme. The vocals can get somewhat screamy, but there is some more melodic wailing intermixed. I was mesmerized by their intensity and the crowd gave much respect. Being a newer band (and there being no doubt who this crowd was here to see) – Glassjaw earned many a new fan and converted at least one back to the flock.

Deftones are so in their prime. With a third album that critics are cumming on themselves over, and the record sales actually agreeing – there is no stopping this band. They have defined their own sound nicely, consisting mostly of strangely heavy melodies that drip with moans and caresses until the edgy razor slices some large dropped D crunch riff into the whole thing. Another phenomena the Deftones posses is the ability for singer Chino Moreno to evoke screams of pure hysteria from the female persuasion. Every time he’d come crashing over the side of the stage, chicks just screamed their heads off and tried to touch him. For some reason, the Deftones proficient use of melody has taken the edge off their metal tag and has allowed a high demographic of female fans in a genre that is usually very male dominated. I says – WAY COOL. Gives a good counter to the meathead attack that is also cool, but not as fun to look at. But if you want to get the purest essence of a live Deftones show, wait until they play, ‘7 Words’ (from “Adrenaline” album) and watch the beast explode. Although Chino introduced the song as one being written way back in high-school, there is no denying the reaction that song always gets at a live Deftones show. People just go nutz and where there was a small pit, became now 70% of the floor with some scrambling to get out of the way. It’s those moments of release built up by waves of tension mounting slower progressions that makes the live show so satisfying. Cuts from the newest album were recognized immediately. The single, ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’ elicited the buzz of reaction that singles tend to do, but more surprising was the reaction to the moody, ‘RX Queen’. It was wery well received for how progressive the song is in the bands catalog. Also noteworthy was the inclusion of, a miss Rodleen who appeared on the one of the better tracks on White Pony, ‘Knife Prty’. Basically, she howls and wails in a sirens scream… very dramatic and quite impressive. She was introduced with the claim that this was the first time they’ve done this with Rodleen live, which made it even more memorable. The vocals were as washy as they usually are at the Palladium so no surprise there. The place use to host Lawrence Welk shows for many years. I don’t think it was built to handle the decibels of the Deftones. Hell, a lot of people aren’t built to handle the decibels of the Deftones.