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Not many hard rock vocalists can emulate the stark nature of Chino Moreno’s vocal prowess: it manages to saturate the haunting, quieter moments on songs while maintaining its’ grit and enviable range. Even when he effectively reigns in his grandiosity, it’s the boisterous, intoxicating rush of pulsating drums and brilliant bass lines that could bring even their most twisted imagery to life. When the band took over Boston’s Blue Hills Bank Pavilion this past Tuesday, they permeated their persona as artists who constantly churn out sexy nightmare music and simply basked in their artistic complexity.
From the very first song of the night, which happened to be the sultry “Kimdracula,” the energy from every Deftones member was fluid; it became slugdy and slightly doomy when certain songs required guitar chords that sounded like they were spun out of epic dread. They were noticeably more jovial when they performed crowd favorites. “Around The Fur” was met with uncontrollable moshing and the melodic submission of day one fans who were dying to hear the song. “Be Quiet and Drive” and “Digital Bath” capitalized on Moreno’s hazy, sensual voice that could evoke bliss and loss in equal strength.
That’s not to say his stage presence was hindered by his hypnotic tenor. Despite his fearlessness that has guided Deftones since their inception, Moreno’s lyricism will always be outlined by vulnerability that he has somehow made dangerous. “Minerva” and “Change (In The House of Flies)” possessed a certain currency live that is most powerful when it is actually experienced. His voice managed to infiltrate the space behind the beats and spindly guitars, yet leave everyone in attendance unable to anticipate his next move. An encore that included “My Own Summer,” “Rickets,” “Bored,” and “Engine No. 9” felt like an all too brief glimpse into the beginnings of a career than has spanned more than two decades. A career that, in fact, still feels far from finished.