2_tones.jpg
Click the photo for a Deftones slide show. All photos by Marcella D. Volpintesta

Deftones, Dir En Grey, the Fall of Troy
WaMu Theater
July


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Last Night: Deftones, Dir En Grey, WaMu Theater, Sunday

Nu-metal pioneers rock out to a crowd of 14-year-old girls and their parents.

2_tones.jpg
Click the photo for a Deftones slide show. All photos by Marcella D. Volpintesta

Deftones, Dir En Grey, the Fall of Troy
WaMu Theater
July 8
Better than:
Listening to Korn's unplugged album while watching anime on Nickelodeon.

You won't get a much more diverse show that last night's Deftones gig at the WaMu. Opener the Fall of Troy (from Seattle, as they reminded the crowd four or five times) played hard, loud and fast. vocalist/guitarist Thomas Erak alternates between a Bruce Dickinson uber-tenor and a more natural voice. Both sound great. The band had a rough moment when Erak's  cords came unplugged, but bassist Tim Ward and drummer Andrew Forsman figured out that they could still play and soloed for a bit. The group looked like they had a blast.

Japanese metal act Dir En Grey came up next, and none too soon for the sea of teen girls there to see them. The performance, while energetic, didn't seem to catch on with the Deftones fans waiting their turn. The vocalist did some raver moves that would get his ass kicked in a real metal pit, but he did the high pitched wail just fine. If we're talking one-to-ten here, Dir En Grey is a six, and only because they are loud.

The real crowd surge came for the Deftones, a band that has been playing longer than some of Dir En Grey's fans have been alive. They are pros and it shows. You never hear anyone say,"Chino Moreno sounds like..." because he doesn't sound like anyone who came before him, although there are plenty trying to imitate. The set started with their first big hit "My Own Summer (Shove It)" and progressed right through to songs from 2006's Saturday Night Wrist. The best songs, like "Hole in the World," are the melodic tunes, when Moreno stops jumping around for a minute and straps on a guitar. Sure, it's still loud, still metal, but it's something more. Like Tool without the art/prog baggage.

This was the last show of a two-month tour, but it didn't show.

Personal Bias: Dir En Grey sounding like the most corporate, packaged metal possible. Like they took a J-Pop singer tired of singing anime theme songs and put him in with a bunch of headbangers. Sorry, little girls, I'm not impressed by your favorite band.
Random Detail: Before the Deftones set, I saw an older woman, 55-60ish, stumble on the steps from the floor to the seats. Maybe she was just rocked out from the pit, but I bet it was beer.

 
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