The Diamond Ballroom (Oklahoma City, OK)
– By James Villa –
“A night of remembrance, and moving forward.”
It’s no doubt that Deftones are a band that likes to keep busy; maintaining a grueling tour pace, bringing their brand of alternative metal to a legion of fans. Tonight’s appearance at The Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City would be exceptional, as this would be one of their last U.S. shows of the season before heading overseas.
Fan Lori Valentine presented posters to fans in the first row with a quote from the title track Diamond Eyes “Time will lead us to the same realm…” from their 2010 album showing homage to fallen bass player Chi Cheng. Another devotee, Lou Urbano took a different approach with a 10 foot banner reading, “Forever One Love“. In April of this year Cheng passed after being in a coma for over 4 years, stemming from a 2008 car crash. Judging from the crowd’s outpouring of sentiment for the musician, Cheng’s legend thrives alongside the band’s continued success.
The crowd erupted as the first notes of Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) rung out; engulfing the room in cavernous emotion, a response that would be fixed throughout the 90 minute set. Following Sex Tape, singer Chino Moreno paused to address the crowd as many of the fans had been holding up poster and photos of Cheng. “Chi is here tonight more than ever, tonight!” “Tonight he is fully representing tonight thank you guys, thank all of you!”
The band to this moment had done their best to put the events of Cheng’s April 13th death behind them, by sticking to their musical script. But the emotion and feedback from the crowd was too much to contain, and on multiple occasions Chino, and the other members were visibly affected.
Not wholly deterred by sentimentality, the usual sing-alongs were heard on My Own Summer, Rocket Skates, Around the Fur, Change (In the House of Flies), and Bloody Cape ended the main set. The respite was short, as after a short break the Deftones reignited the crowd with a searing encore Root and 7 Words, two staples of the band’s debut album.
No energy was spared this evening. The band left the stage with the crowd exhausted, yet wanting more.
The Deftones are truly in a category all their own. Touching, forceful and most importantly, inspiring.
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
My Own Summer (Shove It)
You’ve Seen the Butcher
Around the Fur
Change (In the House of Flies)