Buzzfest Brings The Noise, And The Pain

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Photos by Marc Brubaker
Break Stuff: The Bizkit is back!

For many, many more shots of Sunday's bands, see our slideshow here.

For the really fun stuff - crowd shots! - see our slideshow here.

Sunday, Aftermath spent ten hours wading in Buzzfest XXIV's radio-rock and classic nu-metal at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. It's hard to fathom that since 1995, there has been a crystal anniversary's worth of these things, picking from whatever the bountiful modern-rock tree was bringing forth each corporate quarter. This year we got to see the return of Limp Bizkit, the Deftones on the mend, Three Days Grace making us feel dirty, Seether enticing us and Switchfoot giving us a gospel Foo Fighters show.

You get the feeling that a lot of the people who go to Buzzfest may not get enough live music in their lives. Each spring and fall, the Buzzfest faithful make up for the dry months in between by going balls to the wall for nearly 12 hours of sun, fighting, flirting and copious drinking.

Yes, you can go off and wax elitist about how "Ah man, those people suck" and "Nothing but a bunch of assholes," but Buzzfest is just Warped Tour for the real party people - the hearty ones who will fight with cops, take pictures of random strange titty and will gladly replace any and all internal fluids with Miller Lite.

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Deftones, re-energized on "Rocket Skates"

Our day started out with Switchfoot, one of the biggest breakouts in Christian alt-rock over the past decade, on the main stage. Now they aren't so much a religiously leaning group as much as they are nice-guy everyman rock. Every song is anthemic and built for maximum uplift, including the everlasting "Dare You to Move." Lead singer Jon Foreman went out into the crowd to rouse everyone from their seats halfway through their short set, and was the first bright bit of the day.

Around 3 p.m., the Deftones turned in the loudest non-Fred-Durst-related set of the day. The band is now without bassist Chi Cheng, who was left alive but in a near-vegetative state after a 2008 car accident.

Where most bands would retreat into mourning, stalling the creative juices, the Deftones have reached back to their hellfire Adrenaline roots, tempering them with the same lush ambience they debuted with on 2000's White Pony. The band sounds more ferocious than ever, and singer Chino Moreno has slimmed down since we last saw him live some five years ago.

"Rocket Skates" and the title track from the new Diamond Eyes were both loud and aggressive wonders. The new material achieves a clarity we haven't seen from the band in at least a decade. Old stalwarts "My Own Summer" and "Be Quiet and Drive," from 1997's Around The Fur, sported a new sheen to them live, with replacement bassist Sergio Vega now holding down Cheng's vacant spot.

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