Alternative rock? Art Rock? Nu-Metal? Call it what you want but the California based band the Deftones have been churning out album after album and stirring up millions of fans throughout the world for the past 18+ years.
The Deftones have kept up with the changing times in music as they refine their sound and get more inventive over time but keeping to their metal roots. Diamond Eyes is a perfect example of how the band has matured musically.
Tuesday night at the steamy and humid Aragon Ballroom in Chicago was the scene for frontman Chino Moreno and his cohorts as they rocked for almost 2 hours. The masses jam packed the floor thrashing to Moreno's shrieking lyrics during the heavier cuts such as "7 Words" & "You've Seen the Butcher" and sang along with his timely melodies like "Change (In the House of Flies)" throughout the night. Not many frontmen possess as much on stage energy as Moreno has during his illustrious career. As Moreno always does he was all over the stage, jumping off of stage set ups, running from side to side and playing up to the swarm of sweaty bodies.
The boys took a moment out to dedicate a song to Chi Cheng, the long time bassist who is still in recovery from a debilitating car accident almost 5 years ago. At times you can hear the crowd wail "Chi" when there was a quiet moment or two. Chi is never far from the hearts of the band or those who have followed the Deftones over the years.
Most alt-metal, rap-rock bands from the late 90's and early 2000's have lost their luster and aren't as relevant as they once were. The Deftones are upping the bar for themselves and their music and are looking to keep their momentum going for years to come.
Remember those days when you found out your favorite band hit it big, and you said you wished you could have seen them back in the day, in a small venue without paying and arm and a leg? Friday night was that chance to catch the soulful and 70’s-inspired-throwback rock sounds of Connecticut’s own Saint Bernadette. Nestled in the back corner of the quaint Martyrs’ live music club, I was able to disengage myself with the everyday grind, and cherish the opportunity to take in the powerful, sexy and velvety voice of Meredith DiMenna and her au fait band mates. An illuminating light that permeated the stage was the perfect setting to admire DiMenna as she dominated the show with her sultry looks, while her dirty blond hair whipped around her face as she pranced around. I’m not going to throw out comparisons of other femme fatale vocalists since that would be doing a disservice to DiMenna and her compelling presence. She has her own broad spectrum of erotically charged melodies, and she puts her own staple on her music. Her vocals are a masterful mixture of the who’s who of past and present female rockers. She also incorporates her talents on the acoustic guitar and tambourine. Talent like this is the makeup for success.
The 40+ minute set was tight throughout and had a cozy psychedelic and jazzy feel to the evening. The other members of the band included guitarist Scott Metzger, bass player Dan Carlisle, astral slide guitarist Joe Novelli and drummer Kenny Owens. At times the four guys took over the performance and jammed together as they pumped out tunes such as “Play to Win” and “Suicide”. Their style was that of a quartet practicing in a basement as DiMenna strutted her stuff during the instrumental solos.
Being from the relatively unknown indie music scene that is Connecticut, Saint Bernadette isn’t that well known in Chicago as of yet, but this recent tour brought the clan through the Second City. Local band 7th Kind was the perfect opener as they jump started the show with eclectic renditions of their best work to date. The Congregation and The Mood followed on the warm summer evening.
If you missed this show you will have another chance in the coming weeks to catch the multi talented band as they perform on July 18th at The Elbo Room in Chicago.
So sit back in a dimly lit room, and while listening to their albums, light up some incense and take in the aura that is Saint Bernadette.
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Evan J. Thomas
Evan is a contributor for IAMNotJerry.com Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and InstGram.