Bands that have been together for decades, and are still active on the scene, are sometimes less appreciated. Constantly touring artists can become a limited priority on a listener's concert “bucket list.” The Deftones proved on March 12 why they are still here and kicking it when they played to a packed house at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg.
Fortunately for them, their fans are the real deal. Welcoming the 'Tones with open arms, lifelong listeners drove from several states to catch the weeknight show.
The Deftones have made their presence and sound last since the late '80s with basic elements. They don't go through musicians like buying a new car every few years; they are lifelong friends with solid chemistry. Their comfortable stage presence is a testament to that. The high-energy crowd at the Sherman was proof.
They have stuck to their experimental metal sound, and whether a listener likes that or not, it has worked well enough for them to produce seven full-length studio records, all with general critical praise. Most notably known for hits from albums such as “Around the Fur” and “White Pony,” they have methodically had a strong succession of work.
With this tour being centered around their 2012 album “Koi No Yokan,” it was refreshing to hear they still made this a fan-friendly tour. The set list spanned nearly every album, not overplaying or dwelling on just one. Beginning the show with a track from their sixth album, the heavy riffed “Diamond Eyes” set the mood at about 8:45 p.m. Getting right down to business and jumping back a few years with “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away),” they immediately led into “My Own Summer (Shove It),” setting the tone for the rest of the night.
Even for the non-die-hard fans in attendance, new tracks such as “Rosemary” and “Tempest” couldn't help but pull one in. Stephen Carpenter's driving power chords (and vibrant, eclectic array of ESP guitars) drew in the hooked crowd.
Front row dwellers got a face-off performance from frontman Cheno Moreno throughout the main set. His in-pitch, phrase-ending screams were impressive. The back-of-the-theater crowd got a clear view of Abe Cunningham's mid-show drum solo, which had everyone revved up for more. Although Sergio Vega, Chi Cheng's stand-in bass double, wasn't highlighted as much as original members, he still set a distinctive, distorted yet clean beat from start to finish.
This is not to say that it was all peaches and cream. Although the Sherman is an easily accessible venue with a lot of character, the sound was just alright. Even with a nearly sold-out show, some foam would've helped suck up some of the sound. The light and smoke show was pretty basic, but it was more about the music than visual appeal.
For as solid as the set list was, there was an abrupt end to the main set with the track “Bloody Cape,” diving directly to darkness. The 'Tones redeemed their awkward ending in treating the theater with some oldies from their very first 1995 album, “Adrenaline.” Playing “Engine No. 9,” followed by “Seven Words,” was a well-rounded finish to an overall decent show. Even with the absence of Cheng, who remains incapacitated after a near-fatal car accident, it looks like the band has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.