Deftones, Scars on Broadway Palladium Ballroom Wednesday, November 14
California's Deftones have become one of America's great rock exports. Band leader Chino Moreno and the rest of the seasoned crew returned from a triumphant set of dates in South America just in time to land in Texas, celebrate the release of their excellent new Koi No Yokan, and kick off the American leg of this tour.
And what a homecoming it was. In front of a sold-out and sweaty mid-week crowd at the Palladium, the band successfully ripped apart their own catalog, making a point of not focusing solely on the latest material.
While there were a few overzealous moshers involved, the section of fans in front of the stage were a coordinated sea of elbows and raised arms, swaying feverishly to each song. Giving the orders to the band and the adoring throng, of course, was Moreno, whose primal scream is its own instrument. That special talent was on display, especially the tunes where violent torrents of guitar, bright strobes and copious amounts of on-stage jumping were in place.
Throughout the almost two-hour set, Moreno knew how to set the stage for each song. Whether he was stalking, strutting or standing atop a riser on the lip of the stage, only to do an impressive scream-jump back onto the stage, the songs were full of dramatic intensity. Even when Moreno would grab a guitar to play the slower (by Deftones standards) songs such as hit "Change (In the House of Flies)" and "Digital Bath," the crowd kept moving and the band kept in perfect lock-step with one another.
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Bassist Sergio Vega and drummer Abe Cunningham stole the shine from Moreno during "Passenger" and the opening track from the new album, "Swerve City." As odd it may seem, there's a ton of songs from the Deftones catalog that are straight-up dance-worthy, provided the swinging groove gets cranked up. "Rocket Skate," "Engine #9," "Root" and another new track, "Tempest," made for a fun bit of chaos before "Bloody Cape" brought the regular set to a fittingly violent end. After the electro-machine-gun riff of "Bored" was complete, so too was the sensory thrashing.
- Opening band Scars on Broadway, led by former System of a Down-er Daron Malakian, lived up to their name. Their driving prog-metal was as engaging as it was theatrical.
- When Moreno told the crowd he was glad to be back in America, a chant of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" gathered a good bit of steam in front of the stage. Patriotism, hard rock, spilled beer and shirtless moshers had to be what the founding fathers had in mind for our country, right?