Back in 1997 when I was just a young awkward unstable junior high kid who had just entered 8th grade, I remember staying up late one Sunday night to watch 120 Minutes on MTV. Deftones’ video for “Be Quiet and Drive” came on I was completely mesmerized by the beauty and brutality of that song. I was fascinated with how a band could be that heavy and melodic at the same time. So that next day I conned my mother into taking me to the CD store and I bought their second album, Around the Fur.13 years later I am still obsessed with the band because of their ability to grow and evolve with every album.
Throughout all these years I have developed a creepy man-crush on the members of the band, and I never miss an opportunity to see all my secret boyfriends live. Deftones, and especially their front man Chino, have the knack of putting on super intense and energetic live show, always looking super cool and smooth as ever. Their August 14th show at the Rail was no exception.
This was my first experience at the Rail, and I must say the venue is pretty dope. The Rail is pretty much a mini version of Saltair, but a lot cleaner and a lot better staffed. There were all kinds of people making sure the place was clean—it seemed like any time a cup was dropped or something spilled there were two people there to sweep and mop it up.
The crowd was not super big at the show, which was awesome because I was able to find a spot where I could see the stage pretty well without breaking my neck to see over some doofy gargantuan fucker.
The lights dimmed and my secret boyfriends came booming onstage and looking as young and spry as ever. They opened with “Hexagram,” one the heaviest and most complex songs from their self-titled album, and immediately jumped into another song and one of my personal favorites “Needles and Pins.” This was a huge surprise because I have wanted to hear this song ever since they released back in 2003, and four concerts later they finally played it.
The band kept a high energy during the show and tore through all the fan favorites, drawing from all of their albums. Something that was a highlight for me was seeing their replacement bassist Sergio Vega (formerly of Quicksand) play. While it definitely wasn’t the best circumstances to see him, since he is covering for longtime bassist Chi Cheng. Cheng has been trying to recover from a serious car accident and has been in and out of a coma since November of 2008. Sergio did an amazing job, and it seemed after every song he was checking the tuning on his bass to be respectful of Chi’s legacy with the band and to ensure that he did his bass lines justice.
After playing for about a half hour, the band stopped to dedicate “Risk,” a song off their new album Diamond Eyes, to their fallen bassist. It was at this point that I had a bit of an epiphany. I started looking around the crowd and noticed that more than half of the crowd consisted of females, and then I realized that Deftones is totally a metal band made for the ladies. They were a bunch of groups of girls singing and dancing around or just staring up at Chino, which is understandable because he has lost quite a bit of weight in the past couple years and is looking as suave and debonair as ever.
But I wasn’t interested in all the gaggles of ladies running around, because I was there with my wife was, and it was an amazing feeling to be watching the Deftones live with her. Back in 97 when I first became obsessed with Deftones, I also became obsessed with her, and I used to listen to their songs and think about being her boyfriend. I used to ask her out in junior high and high school, and she would always tell me no—probably because I was big creep back then. A decade later I finally conned her into marrying me, which either proves that I am big pimp or that I am just really annoying and she wanted me to quite bugging her. So my experience and memories of the songs came full circle with her there with me. It kinda felt like a scene of some fluffy chick flick, except I was the chick that was being all emotional and sensitive.
So apart from my estrogen fueled feelings and nostalgic reminiscing the show was a kick ass experience. The band definitely lived up once again to the special place they have in my heart. If you haven’t ever seen the Deftones I would definitely recommend going. It will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. I just hope that my wife never finds out about my secret crush on Chino and the boys.
Deftones @ The Rail
By Jon Robertson