The promoters of the Deftones Koi no Yokan tour concert in the Philippines (Splintr) on May 26, 2013, have recently launched a contest where readers of their website can vote for a select bunch of bands they are promoting to be the second opening act beside Queso (it’s a band). I do not follow gigs and concert dates like the average music blogger would but I think this is the first time becoming an opening act has become such a big deal. For people in bands, it’s a big deal to open for an international act or even bands you look up to. Being a front act for a famous band also “ups” your cred in the music industry and adds up to your band cred or sth (I don’t even know what the hell I’m talking about now). But ultimately, the front act(s) OUGHT to be bands that fans (who will go to the concert) will appreciate.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be the case for this particular contest. Instead of allowing only Deftones concert-goers to vote, it apparently became a ploy to use indie bands with leverage to drive in more traffic to their site and possibly milk the concert of all its worth by potentially attracting fans of the most popular band on their roster to come to the Deftones concert. While this could be some “marketing genius” plan going down which will roll in more money, the potential for backlash is pretty big but ultimately it’s disrespectful to the fans of the headlining band (Deftones).
The short story is a band with a beautiful girl as the front of the act is leading the voting. A band named Philia is successfully leading the contest by a wide margin by involving fans by virtue of promising free tickets and back stage passes for their own gigs (Philia, not for the Deftones show) on top just garnering support. They’re basically doing what Splintr wanted to happen in the first place and congratulations to them for having the foresight and leverage to do so.
I will say it straight-up, I’m not a fan of their music upon first impression of what limited resources I have to get a glimpse of their music (Youtube) but I won’t say they don’t deserve to front for Deftones for reasons of their musical inclinations or because they have a pretty face to drive hapless testosterone amped virgins or young girls who’ve been to Lesbanon to vote. I wouldn’t know any better about what really goes down with their band. I am sure every band on the roaster has real credentials to front for Deftones. As a matter of fact, the band (Philia) is pretty popular, being a front act for the recent Pulp Summer Slam. But this isn’t about who is the more popular band, it’s about what the fans of Deftones really want.
The word out there is that actual Deftones concert-goers want this band Earthmover to open for Deftones. Why do I say this? Because the most passionate fans of Deftones I know say so and there are quite a lot of them in their extended social network. At first, I didn’t really give a hoot about this whole contest but I recently decided not to be that old guy who hates everything new and just goes for old stuff so I started to broaden my horizons and give whatever band name I hear about a listen. These guys (Earthmover) sound amazing and the best part is, they don’t even need anyone on vocals to do so. Furthermore, I know someone who is friends with the band and gave a little more background as to how the band members as a group and individuals have a strong connection with Deftones. By connection, I mean how they are true fans of Deftones and NOT how they know a guy who knows a guy and so on.
I value my pseudo-journalistic credibility so I won’t hot link you guys to their voting page, that’s completely up to you the readers (here is their Facebook page instead then you can decide whatever you want to do after learning more about the band). I however believe they do deserve to be the front act for Deftones because their music will compliment the show for real and I’m sure you will agree with me if you lend them your ears for a bit (provided that you are familiar with Deftones songs as well). But you don’t need to be a Deftones fan, a flippin’ wannabe music critic, or a music producer poser to appreciate Earthmover’s music. It’s the kind of music I believe anyone can appreciate because it doesn’t really fall into any labels or categories. If you like good music and feel that our local music scene deserves a boost, I think you should help Earthmovers win that bloody contest.
I went to the Diamond Eyes Tour back in 2010 or 2011 I think and at the time a fairly successful but on-the-decline band Slapshock was a front act by default because of one of the concert’s sponsors, a clothing brand named “Dickies”. They were unceremoniously “booed” off the stage by some passionate fans (of Deftones) when Jamir (Slapshock’s lead singer) announced the next song would be their last song by screaming out “BUTI NA LANG!!!” which loosely translates to “OH THANK GOD!!!”. Slapshock has always been associated to being a mainstream band for the masses aka “Jologs” or “Skwaks” if you will. It was just another “jobbing” gig for them to make a living and don’t deserve to be treated that way. I wouldn’t wish this to happen to ANYONE so regardless of who wins, please, don’t boo the performers on stage unless they mess up their set real bad and act unprofessional and all. I know it sucks having your dream potentially pulled under the rug by whatever circumstances but more opportunities will come if you go out there and make it happen.
If you like rock shows and prefer a lengthy set where you can really let loose in the crowd, a Deftones show is totally worth it. I believe they did a set of 22 or 26 songs almost non-stop with a short 10-15 minute break only in one night. Other big acts do much less for a higher price.
I intentionally left out hot links to Splintr dot com and Philia because I believe they do not deserve any traffic coming from this post (not like they need it anyway) on principle alone. Besides, Lord Google will easily give them the hits.
I am also in no way part of the local indie music scene as a fan or a player nor am I anything short of a music critic so if I have offended anybody’s musical sensibilities, just take my words with a grain of salt and deal with it.