A gig 3 years in the making (recap)

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Deftones’ Greek Theater Tour Stops A Callback On How They Survived The ‘Nu-Metal’ Genre They Helped Create (Recap)

The mood at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday night was one of relief. Deftones were in town for a gig, but not just any gig: a three-year gig.

Originally scheduled for August 2020, the show was first pushed back to November 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – then pushed back again due to pandemic uncertainty from last fall touring. As a result of the maneuver, the pioneering hard-rock/experimental “nu-metal” band could not hit the road promoting their latest album, ohmwhich was released in September 2020.

Finally the show had arrived, one of the first stops on Deftones’ spring tour with special guests Gojira and Vowws. After being sold out long before the pandemic delays, secondary market prices for tickets to this show – and many shows on this tour, from the looks of it – were on the high side, a testament to the unassailable legacy Deftones have left over the years.

They’re a band that formed in 1988 in Sacramento and helped lay the groundwork for the “nu-metal” scene that burst into the mainstream rock world in the late 1990s. As a central force in the development of the genre (and the many watered-down clones that would follow), Deftones crafted an aggressive and utterly original blend of rock, punk, metal and hip-hop into a singularly identifiable sound and pushed the boundaries of what could be this style of music.

What makes Deftones unique is the consistency of the band’s catalog over the years since. Never a band to chase trends, every Deftones album looks like this: Alone the Deftones, and no one else.

Chino Moreno’s unmistakable voice, which smoothly transitions from haunting melodic leads to aching screams, Stephen Carpenter’s sultry guitar leads, Abe Cunningham’s steady drums and Frank Delgado’s DJ touches and scratches work together to create that classic Deftones sound, a sound that continues to sound as fresh as it always has.

This total adherence to themselves has earned Deftones a staunch fanbase, and part of that audience has enthralled the Greek – a good percentage of whom proudly wore Deftones shirts, hats, jackets and the like. Moreno frequently thanked the audience for their support, even saying at one point that the crowd’s love for the stage was “reciprocal”.

The enthusiasm was undeniable, and Deftones – flanked for this tour by bassist Fred Sablan, replacing Sergio Vega, who separated from the group recentlyand secondary guitarist Lance Jackman – rewarded the crowd with an expansive tracklist featuring each of their nine studio albums.

It was the band’s first chance to tour for ohmbut only two songs (the title track and “Genesis”) made the set list, which instead filled its time with some fan favorites from previous records, like 2012’s. Koi No Yokan (three songs) and its 2010 predecessor, diamond eyes (two songs), as well as classic tracks – “Knife Prty”, “Digital Bath” and “Change (in the House of Flies)” – from white ponythe 2000 album that revolutionized the nu-metal genre and marked Deftones’ arrival in the mainstream music world.

Each song was greeted with delight by the masses in the crowd, despite the venue’s sound system sounding a bit quieter than you’d expect for such an act. Whether it was a technical issue or sound ordinance rules in the surrounding neighborhood on a Wednesday night, it was noticeable, but did not detract from the dynamic performance provided by the band.

Just as excited as Deftones fans were to finally see the band live again, Moreno and his accomplices were equally relieved to finally be back on the road. Deftones shows have always been electrifying experiences, and even within the confines of mostly seated Greek theater, that has proven true. Backed by a strobe light show, everything was a swirling whirlwind of energy, a powerful reminder of the vibrancy of the Deftones live experience.

If you have tickets to a show on the tour, enjoy — and if you don’t have a ticket yet, good luck getting in…because this tour is a must for fans.

The set list:

Genesis
rocket skates
Prayers/Triangles
Royal
Be quiet and drive (away)
My own summer (Shove It)
Storm
deviated city
Digital bath
prty knife
You must beware
sextape
diamond eyes
Rosemary
bloody cloak
Change (in the house of flies)
Lovers

Bis:
ohm
Engine No. 9

The remaining dates:

4/22 – Las Vegas, NV The Cosmopolitan
4/23 – Phoenix, AZ Arizona Federal Theater
4/25 – Denver, CO Ball Arena
4/28 – Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater
4/30 – Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
5/02 – Irving, TX Toyota Music Factory Pavilion
5/03 – AT&T Center San Antonio, TX
5/06 – Atlanta, GA Cadence Bank Amphitheater at Chastain Park
5/07 – Nashville City Auditorium, TN
5/08 – Cincinnati, OH ICON Music Center
5/10 – Indianapolis, IN TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park
5/11 – Pittsburgh, PA Petersen Events Center
5/13 – Boston, MA Agganis Arena
5/14 – Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony Summer Stage
5/15 – New York, New York Pier 17
5/17 – Washington DC The Anthem
5/18 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Met
5/19 – Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
5/21 – Laval, QC Place Bell
5/22 – Toronto, ON Echo Beach
05/24 – Detroit, MI Michigan Lottery Amphitheater at Freedom Hill
5/26 – Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom
5/27 – Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
5/28 – Minneapolis, MN The Armory

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