Review/photos by Mike "Suicide" Santoro
Rochester, NY - The Deftones have always been a band that has circled outside the genres. Never quite fitting in the mold and leaving critics scratching their heads. Their music has been described as everything from Post Hardcore, Progressive Rock to Post Punk. Labels are simple, yet The Deftones' music is far from it. Their newest release titled, "Koi No Yokan" is named for the Japanese abstract notion of the moment you realize you will ultimately fall in love with a particular person. "Koi No Yokan" is a well written album with Deftones signature complex melodies and intricate layers of sound. I have been a fan of the Deftones since the late nineties, and have watched them evolve from being a band with a heavy punk influenced driving sound, to the more tempered, haunting sounds that really took shape with 2000's, "White Pony." Many people may not know they were actually signed by Madonna while she was a partner of the now defunct Maverick Records.
On Monday night I had the opportunity to catch them on their Rochester, NY stop at the Main St Armory. This venue doubles as a military reserve/guard post and it is still actively used for such. The venue was decent and so was the near capacity crowd (which is an impressive draw in a secondary market). I last saw the Deftones in Niagara Falls, NY about two years ago while they were touring in support of "Diamond Eyes" and they played a flawless set. They left me with a renewed love of their sound so I was eagerly anticipating this tour.
Front man Chino Moreno's vocals were in top form as he and the band ran through hit after hit from their seven studio releases. The Deftones started their set with "Be Quiet and Drive (far away)" from 1997's "Around the Fur," and the crowd responded positively. It's worth mentioning that Sergio Vega has been covering the bass duties for the band since 2009 and is doing a great job filling the big shoes for original bassist Chi Cheng, who has been in a semi conscious state since being involved in a car accident in the fall of 2008. They played a handful of songs from both "Diamond Eyes" and "Koi No Yokan" as well as at least one from the other releases. I was hoping they would honor us with one of their classic covers. They have been known to cover other groups such as Bad Brains, as well as Skynyrd, the Cure and even Sade.
The most remarkable feat for any artist is not only keeping their fans, but gaining new. It is not real common for bands that broke out in the late nineties to still be gaining in popularity, however when Moreno asked the crowd for a show of hands of who were seeing the Deftones for the first time, the amount of hands raised was as good an indication as any, that this band will be around for quite a while.
The bottom line? This band delivers and does not disappoint. They played nearly twenty songs including two during the encore. It was a great night of rock and roll for all who were in attendance. I would strongly suggest getting out to see them when the come through your town.