Deftones - Pirita Convent Ruins, Tallinn, Estonia, 31.08.2011

Event: Deftones + Animals As Leaders
Written by: Ivor
Published: 10.09.2011


Deftones - Pirita Convent Ruins, Tallinn, Estonia, 31.08.2011 by Ivor (36)

It's the last day of August. It's what at Metal Storm Ground Zero can already effectively be considered the end of summer. It's the middle of the week, Wednesday to be precise. It's 7:30 PM. So, ugh... Do you know where your towel is? Let me spell it out for you - you don't. Or at least at this point you don't think about it but it sure as hell would come in handy soon enough if you had it with you.

You see, what is starting to take place at this time is an outdoor gig at the ruins of Pirita Convent in Tallinn. Ruins in this particular instance mean walls and no roof. And as far as weather goes... well, generally speaking there's only one thing you can count on regarding weather in Estonia. That is, you can count on weather not being what you count on it to be. So, this particular evening is shaping up rather nicely, part of the sky is blue and the sun is shining while ominous clouds are lurking all around, with the ever present feeling that sometime during this evening, at a presently unknown moment, probably when you are already thinking the danger has passed by and you might be spared tonight, they are going to gang up on you and make you rather wet indeed.

And amidst these ominous circumstances, a band is entering the stage set in these ruins. This as yet unnamed instrumental trio, is setting up to deliver a performance in a genre that some consider an absurd tag while others aurally devour it with gleaming eyes and watering mouths. To put it like something Jeremy Clarkson might say. Yes, some say this band plays djent, all we know is that they play really well. Ladies and Gentlemen - welcome Animals as Leaders!

With these unspoken words a door is being opened to the music appreciation territory that somewhat goes a step beyond my personal enjoyable zone. While I firmly leave the existential side of djent alone and admire this band as a progressive rock and metal act, the technical proficiency of two guys on 8-string guitars and a drummer is keeping me amazed. And even though I think their self-titled début album was a very formidable effort, I have a feeling that their technical skills take over the writing from time to time. Steve Morse had a good song title that I think is very applicable at this point. The moments are turning up on stage when the band is seemingly losing the groove and the feeling, the times that I'd like to refer as the glorious moments of "Tumeni Notes," if you know what I mean. At that point the pervasive atmosphere of clinical precision is a dominant impression that seems to leave you with a bit of a sterile taste, also that of some dissatisfaction.

However, to counter all that there's a remedy. A short break later the already pretty packed crowd is finally starting to seriously give a damn about what's going on on stage. Naturally, it's what they are here for, after all. It's Deftones that are stepping up to deliver an altogether different kind of music experience from the warm-up band. And the two openers the band are taking straight off their last album, the one that we at Metal Storm Towers staff-picked at the recent Awards. I mean, how else would you find out what's good if we don't tell you, right? And to be perfectly honest with you at this point, this album is also the reason I am one amongst the crowd enjoying the show, it being the one and only album I have heard by this time. The band, however, have no intention of abandoning the fans who like their early recordings, for, as the set list will show you, songs are being performed from every album.

Deftones are an interesting band live. Their music is captivating, and the delivery is juicy, if you will, plus it gets the crowd going which, given the circumstances, is something that will be very beneficial soon enough. In a way, their performance is a bit like an anger management course in progress. The contained calm sections are intertwined with violent outbursts that allow people to go hotheaded and berserk. And the crowd loves it. There are even some weak-man's crowdsurfing attempts taking place. I totally respect the girls attempting it, though, for usually the crowds around here prefer to swamp the surfers instead of carrying them. Can't blame the rest for not going along, too. Better that than a split chin and a bunch of stitches when the crowd decides you are good enough a Moses impersonation and parts ways.

Down the middle of the set, though, time is starting to feel right for the introduction of some really special effects. What was heading our way all evening was eventually arriving to be delivered in full. Deftones are playing "Minerva" and I think it is tremendously appropriate that at this particular point the skies have opened to unleash the showers and are raining mightily down on us resulting in a beautiful song being enhanced by the forces of nature. The following illusion is even more enjoyable, perfected by the steaming crowd after some rain. It feels like being in a sauna, only in slow motion, you know, exactly like when you pour water on the stones and steam is rising. And it doesn't seem to bother most of the crowd. The wussier and foresighted part of them take out their rain-coats but the rest of the heated crowd take the warm rain as a natural part of the show.

Set list:
1. Diamond Eyes (Diamond Eyes)
2. Rocket Skates (Diamond Eyes)
3. Birthmark (Adrenaline)
4. Engine No. 9 (Adrenaline)
5. Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away) (Around The Fur)
6. My Own Summer (Shove It) (Around The Fur)
7. Around The Fur (Around The Fur)
8. Digital Bath (White Pony)
9. Knife Party (White Pony)
10. Minerva (Deftones)
11. Bloody Cape (Deftones)
12. You've Seen The Butcher (Diamond Eyes)
13. Sextape (Diamond Eyes)
14. Prince (Diamond Eyes)
15. Cherry Waves (Saturday Night Wrist)
16. Feiticeira (White Pony)
17. Elite (White Pony)
18. Change (In The House Of Flies) (White Pony)
19. Passenger (White Pony)
20. Root (Adrenaline)
21. 7 Words (Adrenaline)

The time is running out, though, and finally the last chord is struck. A couple of moments later technicians appear on stage and start dismantling the equipment and the stage itself. There's a feeling of finality to this activity. The gig's over, folks. Time to get going. Despite the always-disappointing feeling of the show being over, the slowly moving crowd feels content. People around me seem happy in spite of the showers. It was a good event, everybody got something out of it. Not being a fan makes it somewhat hard to estimate but I'd say even those travelling from afar, all those Finns and Latvians, got what they came for. This, my friends, was a good day.

Animals As Leaders: MySpace
Deftones:, MySpace, YouTube


Written on 10.09.2011 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 55 users
10.09.2011 - 10:25
Wow, what a great place to have shows on. I would love to go there!
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
11.09.2011 - 09:38
Nice review man. I was actually in Tallinn at the time but didnt go.

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