[ATTENDED: August 2, 2016] Spotlights
I have been pretty excited to see Deftones for a while. I knew they had an opening act called Refused, who I didn’t know, and just recently they added a third opening band called Spotlights, whom I’d also never heard of.
I looked them up online and saw them described as doomgaze or sludgegaze, which I loved. And when I listened to one of their songs that was a pretty good description–a shoegaze vibe but with some seriously heavy low end rumble and heavy metal crunch.
Seeing them live, it was a bit of a different story. Some of the shoegaze vibe and cool subtleties on their record got a little lost in the wall of noise at the Sands Event Center.
This is not to say that the set was bad (it wasn’t at all) but that the live show had a different feel than the record. Primarily in that the vocals were a little buried. (They’re kind of buried on the record too, but in a different way).
Spotlights is (surprisingly) a duo, the husband and wife team of Mario (Guitar/Synths/Vocals) and Sarah Quintero (Bass/Guitar/Vocals) and live they’ve added Josh Cooper on drums. The most amazing thing was just how much sound these two (and the drummer) produced. With just a bass and a guitar (and a laptop) they were able to effectively rumble the whole place. And while it might have been more interesting to hear to vocals a little better, I felt like they were all about the music and atmosphere. And the intensity of their music was great.
I stood by Mario and it was fun watching him play really heavy crunchy chords and then throw in a squealing high note to add to the intensity. On the other side was Sarah on bass (and I think she switched to guitar on a track). She reminded me of Kim Gordon, playing some really low end and then singing with a whisper on some of the tracks. Cooper played spare percussion and loud drums which helped to anchor the ethereal sections.
The band was a good choice to open for Deftones as their sound is akin to some of Deftones’ more shoegazey moments.
It seemed like Mario was having some technical difficulties here and there, but they played on and sounded great. And it was very fun at the end of the show when the drummer stood up and took a picture of the audience.
After the show they were selling their merch. They were very nice and friendly and I was happy to get their CD. They have some earlier stuff streaming on bandcamp as well.