Saturday Night: Deftones at Bayou Music Center
After a decade, it's easy for bands to make the short trip from real band to nostalgia act. They might continue to record new music, pushing out singles that radio will ignore and doing interviews about how excited they are about how this is their best work yet. But when they arrive in town, it's usually an hour of the "hits" with one new track so the label will give them some tour support.
Eighteen years after the release of their debut album, Deftones are not a nostalgia act. Longtime fans may feel the hints of nostalgia -- it's hard not to be taken back to 1997 the moment "My Own Summer" starts -- but unlike many of their contemporaries, Deftones aren't just coasting on their back catalog.
That's not to say that the old stuff isn't awesome, just that the new stuff is pretty good too.
Saturday, the final night of this leg of the band's Koi No Yokan tour found them in a silly mood. Maybe it was the upcoming "Easters" holiday -- front man Chino Moreno's words, not ours -- or maybe the band is just really happy to be selling out venues the size of the Bayou Music Center.
Much of the silliness came from Moreno. Still one of the most charismatic front men of his generation, and arguably nu-metal's one true sex symbol, he was in a playful mood for much of the night, riffing on various items being thrown onstage, mocking the dumb things most singers say to get the crowd going, and the aforementioned "Easters" joke.
Although his ability to hit the high notes wasn't what it was in previous tours, whether due to the last month and a half of touring or just getting older, he can still deliver when it comes to his signature half-sung/half-moaned vocal style.
The sound was muddy at times -- a little too much bass here, a little too much keyboard there -- but the band sounded tight, especially on the newer tracks they were playing in Houston for the first time. In context of the rest of their catalog, new tracks like "Poltergeist"and "Tempest" fit in just fine in the set list, their depth in sound and texture making for a nice contrast with the rawer tracks from their first album.