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Deftones ..10/17/00 San Jose

......Deftones lead singer Chino Moreno was all but out of breath after just 30 seconds of "My Own Private Summer," and a vein on his forehead looked moments away from bursting. Masters of skewed, raw emotion, the band poured itself out in every conceivable way onstage; the sweltering conditions inside the Venue, compounded by the audience's ardent reception, left everyone involved in the event. And as Moreno dove into the crowd to start "Korea," the almost spastic triggering of the packed theatre spoke for itself: Right here, right now, this is a band that matters.
......The Sacramento, Calif., hardcore quintet is at the most pivotal point of its career, on the cusp of rock stardom after seven years of being one step out of reach of the mainstream, even as an earlier record, "Adrenaline," foreshadowed the current popularity of rap-metal. Judging by the band's debut at No. 3 on the Billboard pop charts last week with "White Pony," Still, recent success hasn't dispelled that perhaps the Deftones remains too smart for its own good among its rap-metal peers.
.....Its continued flirtation with artier, more ambient textures-which sprung from the addition of DJ Frank Delgado to the fracas-is not yet above awkward status amid the requisite head banging. This remained a band that knows its own potential and capability; it's just having difficulty with how to employ it. Moreno continues to emerge as the vital instrument of the band: Where he once howled to match the density of Stephen Carpenter's guitar crunch, he now employs a cunning falsetto on new tunes "Change" and "Digital Bath" that flirted with the angelic before giving into the menacing dirge rock. The contrasting light and dark made for the night's best music, as a fiery, mid-set version of "Feiticiera" bridged the gap between the dour passion of the Cure's Robert Smith or Nick Cave and the frantic screaming of Korn's Jonathan Davis into emotional hardcore music.
.... Though Deftones music requires heaviness to convey Moreno's world-weary bitterness, the group relies exclusively on volume to do the job, leaving little room for the spacey textures of Delgado's scratching to peek through the distortion. Coupled with Moreno's cryptic shrieks, the soft verse/insanely loud chorus dynamic that drives "Around the Fur, the enthusiasm is there; the Deftones just need the ambition. After a decade of preparation, the Deftones and their lyrical, dark rock music are poised to make the transition from cult favorites to mainstream success

By Randy Cohen

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   Members Info !
Chino Moreno - vocals/guitar Stephen Carpenter- guitar
Chi Cheng - bass
Abe Cunningham - drums
Frank Delgado - turntables