Deftones Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, October 14

Deftones Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, October 14
Photo: Jason Schreurs
The openers had to bail, singer Chino Moreno was under the weather and the sound was patchy to start. Still, Sacramento proto-groove metallers Deftones pulled through with another one of their flawless performances.

Word quickly spread that scheduled openers Scars on Broadway (Daron Malakian from System of a Down's solo project) had been held back at the border and would not be playing the show. So instead of what could have been a nice slice of curiousio, we got the fumblings of a soundman wearing a Nike shirt trying to figure out what this crazy new thing called treble is that all the kids are talking about.

Thankfully, Deftones turntablist/keyboardist Frank Delgado came to the rescue with a pre-band set of his disturbia dubstep that set the tone for imminent riff pounds. Delgado's enthusiasm only amplified when the rest of Deftones rolled onto stage with unassuming greetings and happy smiles.

The first three songs were highlighted by a blend of searing guitars courtesy of seven-string master Stephen Carpenter and deep bass throb from recently added bass player Sergio Vega (also of Quicksand), Moreno trying as he might to push through some set-opening sound issues. By the time the band got to the climax of "Passenger," Moreno was locked into his zone. "I'm sick as a dog, but I feel fucking wonderful," the singer revealed to the audience, before launching into "My Own Summer (Shove It)" with enough vigour to cold-cock whatever virus he was carrying.

Deftones fans are a curious bunch. Not only do they absolutely lose their shit (and this was particularly evident during "Change (In the House of Flies)," from the band's classic White Pony era), they seem to be generally unconcerned with each other's personal space, bringing lots of touching, bro-ing down and screaming lyrics into your neighbour's ear, whether it was wanted or not. At times, the wailings of wannabe Morenos in the crowd were notably louder than the man himself, so he dedicated some quality time down by the barrier, hanging into the crowd for chant-alongs.

Impeccable in their execution, the band covered material from all seven of their studio albums, including the upcoming Koi No Yokan. A three-song medley from their first album, 1995's classic Adrenaline, served as the perfect encore. A runaway semi truck always trumps a roadblock, and when life hands you minor setbacks, finish with "7 Words."