Some friends and I went to see Deftones in Memphis on the 29th, 2011… It was by far one of the most amazing nights of my life. I was the only one in my group of 4 that had a Diamond VIP ticket so I got to meet them, take a professional picture with them, and get a signed tour poster. My friends had the Black VIP pass that included an early entry sound check set inside Minglewood Hall that all of us went to see together at 4:30 p.m.
The moment was surreal… We were 10 ft away from our favorite band watching a private show, just for us. I honestly could not believe that I was actually standing there and the experience felt like a dream. I could not keep my eyes off Chino as he sang like a majestic rock creature from the plant Awesome. Everything sounded amazing and better than I thought it would.
After sound check was over, all of the diamond v.i.p members were directed to a small room where the photographer was set up. The band was taking a little longer than expected so the staff let us get dibs on merchandise. I was $5 short of getting a tour shirt so I had to run outside and borrow it from my buddy, Wayne. That made me a little late getting back but just as I came back into the waiting room, the VIP coordinator told us all to line up to take a picture. Since I was already walking in, I was first to make the line. I thought this was a great idea until reality hit me.
There I stood in line of pictures, shivering while my friends stood outside in the lounge. All I had were strangers around me. About 10 minutes of panic went through me before the band walked in. The lead guitarist, Stephen, carried a small radio blaring a metal song I didn’t recognize. The band stood in position and the coordinator motions for me. Nobody went before me to give me an idea of what I was supposed to be doing so, I went down the line of members shaking each of their hands.
I was obviously terrified when Chino smiled and said, “its ok, don’t be nervous“. Just the fact that he spoke to me almost made me faint. The man was stunningly hansom. I flinched when he grazed my back with the palm of his hand in a comforting manner. As soon as the photographer took the picture, I said my thanks and scurried out of the room while grabbing my complimentary autographed poster. Why couldn’t I think of anything to say?!?
About an hour and a half passed before my buddies and I got to go back inside for the big show. Since we were VIP, we got to go ahead of everyone else into the hall. Someone called out for the VIP pass group and I grabbed my friend’s hand making a quick b-line for the stage. Front and center was where we stood. We watched this really strange band called Le Butcherettes. The lead singer was female and wore a “blood stained” apron. I didn’t care for their music all that much but they were had an interesting performance.
The next band up was Dillinger Escape Plan. I am not certain if it was in the crowd or on stage but there was a pungent odor of arm pit circulating in front of us the entire time they played. I could hardly see most of it because their strobe lights were so bright. The bassist looked like the angriest man on planet earth with his face scrunched up as he banged his head. He actually spit into the crowd at one point and it got on me. Gross. Although they put on a good show, they were not a band that I would ever download music from in my iPod.
At 10:00 p.m., Deftones takes the stage. Mind you, we checked in VIP at 4:15 p.m. By the time they took stage I was tired, sweating profusely, moody, and was getting pushed by people behind me into the stage gate. As soon as the lights came up, Chino came out in a black Mickey Mouse t-shirt and began to scream the lyrics of “Diamond Eyes”. I was instantly intoxicated and regenerated. This was really happening!!
The day finally came.. I’d waited for this moment for since I was a teen but never thought it could actually go down.. Each and every song rocked my soul. Chino came to the edge of the stage many times and stood on a speaker that was directly in front of me. I felt his sweat drip on me and could have taken a shower in it without a care in the world. The crowd was so jam-packed and hot that the security guards threw water bottles into the crowd to keep people from passing out. Those of us on the front row got water poured in our mouths and down our shirts.
The intensity of the pushing was overwhelming. My friend braced himself on the gate with his arms on either side of me to keep me from getting smashed. A couple of girls got into a fight over pushing and biting during a song. Chino stopped the show to see what was happening and made jokes about them being ridiculous. He was a very funny guy and had us all laughing in no time to keep our minds off what was going on.
Closer to the end of the show, a band member from the opening band, Dillinger Escape Plan, came out to help Chino sing “Passenger”. He was no Maynard but he gave it his best shot. When the band was done, there was an encore, of course. Not one shred of disappointment was felt in my opinion of the performance. I left with a Deftones drumstick in hand and a used guitar pick from the opening band that a security guard gave me while standing by the stage gate. My buddy, Wayne, couldn’t have said it better when he said “that was the greatest night of my life”. We will never forget it.
TODAY’S JAM: “Cherry Waves” – Deftones