MUSIC: The Deftones smoke The Joint


The dude bounced about the stage like he was coated in rubber.

Chino Moreno literally threw himself into his band’s tunes, limbs flailing, as if they were a series of bullies to be bested with sheer physical might.

The Deftones frontman looked like he was in the middle of a particularly fierce cardiovascular routine during his band’s by turns meditative and menacing set at The Joint on Saturday.

The Deftones cultivate ambiance and aggression in equal measure, sometimes within the context of the same tune, such as during the show opening “Diamond Eyes,” a dreamy smorgasbord of guitars that erupts with convulsive vocals by Moreno at song’s end.

From one tune to the next, the band would often alternate moods entirely.

Raw-throated temper tantrum “Engine No. 9” was followed by the stirring, anthemic “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”; after blood-boiling early hit “My Own Summer (Shove It),” the calm was restored by the more atmospheric “Digital Bath.”

The Deftones are nominally a metal band — their smash mouth rhythm section and bone-abrading guitar crunch ensures that — but they’re as influenced as much by alt-rockers like Depeche Mode and My Bloody Valentine as Black Sabbath.

Reflecting this dichotomy were the bands the Deftones chose to tour with this go-round.

Show openers Le Butcherettes were a female-led power trio whose frontlady, Teri Gender Bender, whipped her hair about like it was crawling with bugs. The band veered haphazardly from bristling, garage rock banshee howls to synth powered new wave revisionism (think Suicide with ovaries). Their tunes were equally choppy and catchy, tempestuous and tuneful and as raw a freshly opened wound.
 
They were followed by the incendiary Dillinger Escape Plan, a band as kinetic as their topsy turvy tunes.

Experiencing them play live is like watching particles collide with one another, unleashing grand bursts of energy. Here’s a fun challenge when witnessing these dudes combust onstage: Try figuring out what time signature they’re playing in (hint, it’s not 4/4).

The band members straight up savaged their instruments during the course of their nine-song set of head-spinning metallic boundary pushing. On recent albums, they’ve incorporated more and more melodic flourishes in their highly progressive outbursts, which was evident in songs like “Black Bubblegum” and “Milk Lizard.” But the band is at its best when just straight going for broke (and it’s your face they’re attempting to break).

To wit, Dillinger ended their performance with the one-two punch of “Sunshine the Werewolf” and “43% Burnt,” two tunes so intense, the band couldn’t help but smash their instruments at show’s end.
Really, it just seemed like the natural thing to do.