Photo by Dave Wedge | All other photos by Billy Gamble
“The crowd explodes with movement, people are pushing and shoving in the pit,
people are dancing and waving their arms in the air.
The once-still crowd is no more.”
I’m absolutely late!
The Deftones were originally supposed to play with Scars on Broadway the night hurricane Sandy raped and pillaged the East Coast. They cancelled and finally postponed about four months later, now touring with The Contortionist.
After a struggle to print my ticket and put myself together to go out, I tap into my inner Masshole, flying down Commonwealth Ave. Doesn’t it seem like everyone is driving like your grandma when you’re running late? I’m swerving in and out of cars, blending in with the cabbies as I aggressively move on the offense. Luckily I find a spot close to the venue on the other side of I-90.
As I walk over the bridge towards Fenway and Lansdowne St, I’m checking the coat pocket where my ticket is. I know it’s there and my pocket is zippered up and closed, but I keep checking anyways—as if, after the eleventh time, it will have mysteriously disappeared to the abyss. It doesn’t.
As I approach the House of Blues, some Bostonian is stumbling down the street exclaiming that he got the last available ticket from a scalper. I believe it. The venue is packed and the crowd in infinitely diverse.
I see frat boys with their girlfriends, who no doubt were dragged here, kids with their mothers, death metal dudes, deathcore guys, etc.
All sorts of people have come here tonight, from the dressed up to the dressed down, ratty metal kids to girls who look like they’re on their way downtown to go clubbing.
The Deftones are just one of those bands that can attract just about anyone. Their brand of space rock nu metal has not only survived the rap metal fad, but remains relevant into the present.
They combine aspects of metal, space rock, rap, and dance music, and are especially radio-friendly. The House of Blues is packed up to the third floor.
The crowd is still until the Deftones take the stage and open with their classic “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”.
The crowd explodes with movement, people are pushing and shoving in the pit, people are dancing and waving their arms in the air. The once-still crowd is no more.
Deftones front man Chino Moreno is incredibly charismatic. Part of the stage set up includes risers for Chino to climb and dance on top of giving him height to hang over the crowd as he unleashes his unmistakable vocal talents.
The band looks like they’re having fun as they chip away through classic hits and new favorites. Their onstage crew is running around like mad for the show: fixing microphones, bringing guitars in and out on stage, adjusting drum knobs … It reminds me of ball boys at tennis matches running across the court picking up loose balls.
Moreno begins to talk to the crowd in between songs as the band prepares for the next one, greeting all the floors and thanking everyone for coming out.
He starts to look closely into that room and picks someone out. “Look at this dude with the girl. Hey homie!!” It takes the man a moment to notice he’s being addressed, Chino says hello again. “He must be on the football team.” The man is oblivious and the show continues.
I always feel bad for the security guards around the pit at the House of Blues.
When there is a heavy show at the HOB, security is sent in to stand by the pit, most likely to keep an eye out for unruly behavior and kids getting hurt. Boston passed a law last spring forbidding moshing and crowdsurfing, yah know, fun rowdy concert activities. Where is your law now Boston? Best of luck enforcing this stupid law. I feel bad for the bouncers getting pushed and shoved. The two guys assigned to watch the pit are getting pushed and shoved every which way. Their faces tell the story: not happy.
After they play “Nosebleed” many people start hustling their way to the exits.
What idiots! They’re not even going to try to stay for the obvious encore that’s about to happen.
The band closes with classic heavy hits “Root” and “7 Words”. The set list is a combination of songs off their first two albums, songs off their newest two albums, and the hits from everywhere in between.