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On May 20th, 2003, Deftones unveiled their self-titled fourth album for all to hear. The follow-up to 2000's beloved White Pony saw them all but drop the stylized nu-metal of their early years for screeching alt-metal and awe-inducing walls of pretty shoegaze. The latter sensibility was made apparent from the jump when the band released the 'gazy standout "Minerva" as the record's lead single, and it remains one of the most pleasing sonic switch-ups in their catalog.
On the day Deftones dropped, the band played a release show in their home city of Sacramento that included an emotional performance of "Minerva." Although the song was uncharacteristically soft and mild-mannered compared to the rest of the record, Deftones found a way to make the poignant tune about numbness sound absolutely huge — even without their typically violent metal parts.
Evoking Nineties bands like Hum and Smashing Pumpkins, "Minerva" strikes a clever balance between metal, shoegaze and grunge, and this performance proved how powerful it was in the live setting. The guitar tones are absolutely crushing, the bass is rattling the entire room and the drums sound like cannon blasts, but Chino Moreno's languid yawp stretches atop everything for that signature Deftones punch.
Everyone sounds locked-in during this set and you can tell that the whole crowd drifted off into a mesmerized state while the riffs blasted out of the monitors before them. Check out the magical performance above via YouTube.