Marathon Music Works was crowded with alt bros in baseball caps on Friday night, and The Spin loved every minute of it. Deftones concerts are where the bros and the sad theater kids can rub elbows like it’s The Breakfast Club — and Chino Moreno was full-on Judd Nelson in a red-and-black flannel, his trusty goatee and a wallet chain. He held the extra-thick microphone cord like it was a whip, and screamed with an impressive set of lungs that transported us to 1997.
Deftones opened with “Diamond Eyes,” the title track from their 2010 release, but it was when they played the second song, “Be Quiet and Drive,” that the crowd achieved flip-out mode. Fists pumped and iPhones raised, and we all shouted, “I don’t care where — just far,” in unison without missing a beat. In a sea of black T-shirts, a middle-aged woman in a tight blouse raised her ring-adorned, acrylic-nailed hand into devil horns and shouted lyrics at the top of her lungs. Hipsters, goths, rednecks and old people, all together for a few hours like a family enduring dinner together. We were all just happy to be fed.
“Rosemary,” a new-to-us track from Deftones' latest, Koi No Yokan, started Team Sleep-ish and down-tempo but eventually picked up and crescendo'd in textbook Deftones fashion — Chino laid it on thick with his nu-metal Jeff Buckley purr.
“Feiticeira” was sinister as shit. “Change in the House of Flies” was chilling.
The set list was pretty fluid — at one point Chino asked what the audience wanted to hear before launching into “Headup,” probably The Spin's least favorite Around the Fur cut — and the only one that was co-written with Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera. That’s the side of Deftones we never really warmed to: the lowest-common-denomenator-pleasing, radio-metal box they're occasionally thrown in with Korn and Limp Bizkit, rather than, say, Hum or Jawbox. But that’s what the audience asked for, and they seemed to fucking love it.
By the time Chino & Co. came out for the encore, it was obvious that they were skipping through the newer, lesser-known songs, in favor of the crowd-pleasing old faves from Adrenaline and Around the Fur. Chino shed his flannel shirt, and the Joy Division T-shirt he’d been wearing underneath was like a surprise ending — the happy reveal in which we discover that Deftones are Jedi, and not Sith. Take that, Darth Bizkit.