Deftones | 06.19.07

deftonesIt seemed Deftones wanted to get one thing straight – that they're a metal band – which seemed to please the fans . . .

deftones2Photo: Todd Owyoung 

The Pageant, St. Louis 

Sacramento natives, Deftones, made a stop in St. Louis Tuesday night at The Pageant on their tour to promote their new album, Saturday Night Wrist. The album features much of the same as earlier Deftones efforts – heavy metal guitars eventually giving way to pleasant, reverb-and-delay-heavy hooks, explosive drum fills, abstract lyrics, and vocals that alternate between heartfelt whiny-whispers and the groans and screams of a metal act. Saturday Night Wrist offers up a few ear-pleasing tracks that stand out on their own melodic merit but, when all is said and done, Deftones have never been a great band, even though they've always been pretty good at what they do, especially considering the nu metal pedigree they were bred from.

For those who missed the gossip, Deftones were close to breaking up before the release of Saturday Night Wrist. In fact, the band took a six month break during recording while singer Chino Moreno toured with his side-project, Team Sleep. In a nutshell, Chino and guitarist Stephen Carpenter were acting more like Fallout Boys than friends and band mates of nearly two decades. The band managed to pull things together, went into the studio with producer Bob Erzin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed) and finished the record.

So how did Deftones sound this tour? How was their chemistry, all things considered? I'd say pretty good, even though the sound was way too bass-heavy (something that never got remedied) and made much of the mix sound too mushy. The band was tight and performed the songs without flaw, but the set list featured little of their melodic side and much of their heavy, rap-metal repertoire. It seemed Deftones wanted to get one thing straight – that they're a metal band – which seemed to please the fans, as The Pageant was more raucous than I've ever seen it, full of bouncing bodies and fists filling the air all evening long.

Chino seemed full of energy and delivered a raw performance as much screaming and flailing around ensued. The band played to a cool backdrop of pixilated lights that featured, at times, girls making out, putting on pantyhose and other chauvinistic images that the overwhelming faction of white boys sporting gold chains, twisted baseball caps and raunchy liquor breath seemed to really enjoy.

The band hit their final chord and left their guitars feeding back into the P.A as they left the stage, only to return for their predictable encore. Feeling that having only one mosh pit just wasn't enough, a few of the macho boys in attendance started flailing around and knocking into everyone standing in the bar area until punches were exchanged with a few other concertgoers. With that final image, and ears still ringing from a bad sound engineer, this is a show that will soon fade from my memory; however, diehard Deftones fans seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. | Christopher Sewell

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