When the organisers of Oppikoppi announced that Deftones would be headlining this year’s festival, metal and alternative rock fans leapt with joy. Slowly it dawned on those living outside of Gauteng and Limpopo that hey…the band is only booked for Oppikoppi. It was asked with some fury, what about Cape Town? Justice was served when it was announced that the band would have a curtain raiser here. The show, billed as ‘One Night in Cape Town would feature Deftones as well as two additional American bands, Manchester Orchestra and pop punk stalwarts Yellowcard.
Come August the 8th the excitement was palpable inside Grandwest especially in the area around the Grand Arena. Fans were mulling around concession stands, filling the floor area as well as the Spur next to the venue creating a jovial festive atmosphere. Soon after seven o’ clock Manchester Orchestra began their set. While golden circle was almost filled, general standing and the seats were sparsely populated. Those who decided to forego this opening band for a beer or five missed a powerful set and a good opportunity to discover an exciting band. Manchester Orchestra intrigued the audience by blended heavy guitars and soft folksy passages together and for this they received a warm reception despite many of us being unfamiliar with their material.
Ten or fifteen minutes after Manchester Orchestra, Yellowcard jumped onto the stage in typical pop punk frenzy. The band played a tight, well oiled set but their style was not as warmly received by the crowd. The band had considerable fans in attendance but it seemed too many of them were not jumping around enough for the band, who constantly tried to rev up the audience. The band played well enough and in the end they got more than enough cheers from those in attendance.
After nine o’ clock Deftones hit the stage opening their set with ‘Rocket Skates’. The crowd burst into shouts, cheers and whistles while jumping like maniacs, insane with joy that their beloved band was here. Deftones sounded amazing, Stephen Carpenters crushing seven string guitar blasting away over booming drum and bass, Chino’s screams sounding just as potent live as on record. Sadly the venue though filled considerably in golden circle and fairly so in general standing was about half full, with the seating area still mostly empty.
This did not deter the band from playing their hearts out. They cherry picked popular songs off most of their seven albums and created a powerful set that cannot be faulted. Chino’s vocals were lost in the mix on certain songs where he sang instead of screamed. It seems like this is due to his style which can be airy over dense and heavy songs rather than a technical issue. If you knew the songs and the words then this was not an issue if you did not you would be a bit disappointed with this. Overall it was a great night featuring high quality bands and high quality sound in a high quality venue. Deftones proved that they deserve respect and are an excellent musical unit.