Though the festival banner began in 2018, Deftones have technically only had four attempts to establish a fall tradition. Given the kind of response Dia De Los Deftones has received since its inception however - even with a two year pandemic-related pause - its apparent that the first weekend of November belongs to Deftones for as long as they want it.
The 2023 installment of Deftones-curated celebration commandeered Petco Park in San Diego, CA on November 4th. Marking the fourth edition of the fall congregation, Deftones held court over in front of a devoted sold out crowd. As they have done years prior, Deftones delivered the kind of set that not only spanned their vast catalog, but also appealed to the most ardent, well-verse fan - dusting off some gems that haven't made the band's live set list in years.
Opening with a quick one-two from Ohms, including "Genesis" and epic title track, the band sent the stadium into hysterics when the first beat dropped on the White Pony-era classic "Korea" - a moment that no doubt delivered a highlight. Equally as effective were the standards from Adrenaline and Around The Fur, through the takeaways were the rarities like "Xerces", "Kimdracula" and "Phantom Bride" - all tracks which that band hadn't performed in years.
Sending the Deftones-devoted home fulfilled, the band finished out their encore with a rendition of "Headup" that had the entire floor hyped. The finale punctuated a powerful set that not only reaffirmed the band's elite status, but also further cemented Dia De Los Deftones is here to stay.
An important component to that longevity is the meticulous curation of the line-up with Deftones at the helm. For 2023, the contrast the pop eccentricity in 100 gecs going back-to-back with the hardcore heft of Knocked Loose offered bold, brave stylistic strategy.
Enlisting Doechii and Pieri, DDLD continued its embrace of a hip hop element - this time asserting a strong female prowess with both artists effectively taking command during their stage time. Deftones tipped their hat to the OGs, welcoming San Diego's own Pinback to the celebration, showcasing a variety that spanned generations.
The heavy stuff also played an important in the make-up of the festival with bands like Rile and emerging Louisiana aggressors Capra delivering incendiary sets. Despite being some of the first to the hit the stage, the bands made wise use of their time and skipped the subtleties, forcing fans to take notice while setting the bar for the day.
Check the recap video for Dia De Los Deftones 2023 here. See the comprehensive gallery of images from Maurice Nunez below.