Funeral Party got the evening started, and after enduring its set -- one in which ear plugs couldn't be shoved deep enough into ear cannals to block out the horrid sounds being churned out -- let's just say Funeral Party tips the scales more on the former portion of its moniker and less on the latter.
Thankfully, the Dillinger Escape Plan, who was up next, graciously provided a much needed reprieve with an explosive, highly charged, 45-minute set of its trademark off-time signature blast beats. After fifteen years of wreaking havoc in any city they happen to pass through, Dillinger still exhibits the burning passion that makes them one of the most intense and violent live bands in music today.
Shortly before 10 p.m., the crowd began to chanting "DEFTONES! DEFTONES! DEFTONES!" with each cheer picking up volume. A broad mixture of people comprised the sold out crowd, both male and female, ages sixteen up to sixty -- a testament to the band's widespread appeal. And its staying power. While other acts of the same era have dropped off, the Deftones continues to flourish.
When the outfit first emerged in the '90s, it was lumped into the realm of nu-metal alongside group's like Limp Bizkit and Korn, even though the Deftones offered a more progressive and mature sound that never really fit into that mold. Last year, the Deftones released their sixth studio album, Diamond Eyes, hailed by fans and critics alike. In spite of the fact that the Deftones have not matched the commercial success of their 2000 platinum release, White Pony, the band continues to progress; every new Deftones album exceeds, by leaps and bounds, each previous release.
And so year after year, the outfit continues to thrive year in a time when record sales are lackluster throughout all genres of music and despite the harrowing absence of one of its founding members, bassist Chi Cheng, who was involved in a car accident in 2008 and remains in a minimal conscious state to this day. Sergio Vega, formally of Post-American Hardcore band Quicksand, is filling in for Chi Cheng, while his Deftones bandmates and fans eagerly await his triumphant return to the stage.
Just after the lights went down, the projection screen turned on, and for the next hour and a half, the Deftones commanded the Ogden. Bulldozing through a twenty song set, the Deftones covered everything from their back catalog to present day releases, from "Diamond Eyes," which kicked off the set to "My Own Summer" and "7 Words" to "Lotion" and "Hole in the Earth." During "Passenger," Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato came back on stage to trade vocals with Chino Moreno, who displayed his typically impressive wide range in which his melodic tenor tone easily ascends into demonic screams that echoed through the Ogden.
The chemistry between the players seemed a bit lacking, but the connection between the band and the audience was phenomenal. On more than a few occasions, Moreno got up close and personal with the capacity crowd. With the exception of a little too much feedback and bass reverb, the sound was tight. The lighting and stage production was stellar, complete with a skateboard style platform that Chino Moreno (vocals) walked back and forth on for the duration of the set.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: I haven't seen the Deftones since 1999. By the Way: Bassist Sergio Vega was pushed far back stage right and only came to the edge of the stage on occasion. Random Detail: Deftones fans came far and wide. I met a couple from Salt Lake who caught the concert the night before in Utah and a few fans from Wyoming.
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Deftones 04.22.11 | Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
Diamond Eyes Rocket Skates Birthmark Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) My Own Summer (Shove It) Engine No. 9 Hexagram Minerva Bloody Cape You've Seen The Butcher Sextape Beauty School Feiticeira Digital Bath Back To School (Mini Maggit) Change (In the House of Flies) Knife Prty Elite Korea Passenger (with Greg Puciato)
Nosebleed Root 7 Words