Opening with a seething version of “Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)” Sacramento’s Deftones tore a hole into the Main Street Armory last night. I was rather surprised at the huge crowd (My guess 4,000 give or take) wedged into the joint for the band’s stop on its Koi No Yokan Tour, but then it occurred to me, these guys don’t really tour that much. It wasn’t just a show, it was an event. When I last saw the band it was at The State Theatre in Tampa, Florida in 1995, when the band — who spent most of the show holding its pants — was the toast of the nu-metal, post hardcore, pre-rapcore world with the release of its debut “Adrenaline.”
It was like nothing anybody had heard and bands like Limp Bizkit quickly wrecked it. Deftones have persevered over the years and have lasted with a more substantive, hard rock, and even metal approach. What truly impressed me last night was guitarist Stephen Carpenter’s absolutely killer guitar tone. Typically with a band this loud — coupled with the Armory’s boomy acoustics — the guitar tends to get swallowed up in the stampede. Carpenter had a classic thick and bright kerrang that shook the rafters and loosened fillings. The band rocked for close to two hours to the enthusiastic, churning audience. And everybody’s pants managed to stay up.