Though the weather threatened to turn the fake beach at Festival Pier into a Woodstock ’94-esque mud pit, the rain held out just long enough for 90’s born groove metal refugees Deftones to blast Philly with an amazing set of their trademark agressive/ambient dichotomy, in support of their excellent new record “Gore”.
Handpicked by Deftones, Brooklyn duo Spotlights opened with their unique doom pop, followed by a politically charged sermon from the always entertaining Swedish post punkers Refused. But Deftones will not be upstaged, frontman Chino Moreno himself commenting “it’s always badass when we come to Philly, for real”, the audience giving just as good as they got it.
Chino’s schizophrenic vocal attack never wavers, pterodactyl shrieks mixed with brooding singing, all the while working out his signature brand of sweet, sweet dance moves, even crawling into the crowd during “Prince”. It wasn’t all the Chino show though, with all band members collaborating effortlessly, newest member Sergio Vega fitting in just like a charter member and guitar god Stephen Carpenter always ready to bring the fucking heavy.
“Digital Bath” slowed the pace to a crawl but the crowd still tranced along before completely flipping out for “White Pony” classic “Change”. The setlist proper ended with a cool as fuck take on “Passenger”, of course sans Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan but with Chino more than holding his own.
The band closed out the night with an encore of stone cold classics, a duo from “Around The Fur” including “My Own Summer”, and two tracks from their 1994 self titled debut, ending with a blistering run through “Bored”. Deftones fully exhibit why they inspire such slavish devotion from their fanbase, they’re a rare band that’s always sonically looking towards the future, but still reverent of the past while refusing to be handcuffed by it.
Photos by Sara Patrick, Words by Sara Patrick and Kevin Hawkey