Live Review: Deftones and Incubus
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:52:24
Bands take Gilford, NH back to school with phenomenal pairing and the summer's best (and most balanced) jaunt.
The line between beauty and destruction is paper thin within the sound of Deftones. That's been a touchstone of the group for 20 years since the release of their debut, Adrenaline. Nobody does the balancing act quite like the California fivesome—Chino Moreno [vocals, guitar], Stephen Carpenter [guitar], Abe Cunningham [drums], Sergio Vega [bass], and Frank Delgado [keyboards, electronics, turntables]—does. Saturday night, August 1, at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford was all about that balance for Deftones, and it's more powerful than ever.
The muscular guitar crunch of "Diamond Eyes" slipped into a fluttering vocal hum from Moreno. "My Own Summer (Shove It)" thrived on the metallic funk propulsion of Cunningham's airtight drumming complemented by Vega's decisive bass punch. Carpenter's guitar felt downright eerie and engaging on Around the Fur cut "Lhabia" a dramatic segue into "Beware" where Moreno's guitar-voice combination reached a hypnotic apex punctuated via Delgado's aural backdrop. One of many stand outs, "Sextape" from Diamond Eyes, careened under water and outerspace with its evocative and cinematic lyricism and entrancing visuals. "Rocket Skates" engaged a full force wallop as the audience screamed in ecstasy, "Guns, razors, knives," over and over. The happiness derived from this trip remains one of Deftones' most impactful weapons. They know how to throw a party—for the end of the world.
Moreno smiled, "It's surprising to me to see everybody feeling it," and urging, "Let's get down."
That's a point that can't be driven home hard enough. Deftones know how to have a good time within that dichotomy. Again, it's about balance. Moreno rocked a Morrissey shirt and an guitar with an Eazy-E sticker. That could very well sum up his own position for the uninitiated. He's rock music's most clever and transfixing lyricist since Moz himself, but he can move with a bounce that nods to hip-hop's heyday. "Swerve City," "Headup," and closer "Engine No. 9" wonderfully illustrated that.
That culmination of teetering between soaring and searing made everything converge on final catharsis. You could feel it mounting from Koi No Yokan's "Tempest" through White Pony's "Knife Party" and "Digital Bath." Then, it all blasted into outer space where Deftones belong above the rest.