Deftones rock D.C.

Shrouded in a Faustus hood of smoke, the Deftones exploded into its first D.C. show in three years and the first show of a brief guerilla tour, announcing the release of the band's new self-titled Maverick disc, with a riveting performance of the albums lead song "Hexagram." The fact that the audience had never heard the song didn't seem to matter though, because Chino Merino and crew picked up the crowd by its collective collar and never let it down.

The Deftones, one of the most recognizable faces on the art metal scene, a course paved by the Page Hamilton's (Helmet) and Adam Jones' (Tool) of yesteryear, helmed the release of its fourth album with an incendiary performance on the stage of the 9:30 club, a small venue compared to the mammoth arena shows that scatter the band's horizon, which will feature the Summer Sanitarium Tour headlined by metal heavyweights Metallica, and nu-metal purveyors Linkin Park. The Summer Sanitarium Tour will play at FedEx Field in Landover, MD on July 18.

Taking to heart the concept of "An Evening with the Deftones," the band played a nearly two hour set with no supporting acts, a feat that allowed the band to open up its time capsule and return to the days of "Adrenaline," "Around the Fur" and "White Pony.," They also threw out some new tracks to the starved fans below them without compromising the strengths of the previous albums by playing only the most well known tracks and skirting the hidden gems.

Carried by the massive rhythms of Abe Cunningham on drums and Chi Cheng on bass, the scathing serenade of lead singer Moreno and the aural peak and troughs of Stephen Carpenter's guitars, the new and old songs left no single corner untouched. Cutting through the tinge of the band's singles, including "My Own Summer (Shove It)," "Change (In the House of Flies)," and the band's newest radio track "Minerva," were the unlikely additions of tracks like "Lotion," "Teething" and "White Pony" opening track "Feiticeira.

All of the beauty and chaos in Moreno's vocals and the band's musical arrangements made for a captivating evening, which seemed impossible to top, until the encore. In a blaze of three songs, the pyre of the Deftones' was forever lit in D.C. with the addition of crowd favorites "Engine No. 9," "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)" and the always volatile "Seven Words." Needless to say, the pit was less a pit and more the entire floor as the Deftones closed out one of the most engaging shows to hit the District in well over a year.

With the release of "Deftones," the band's fourth CD on May 20, the band made good on the amazing new tracks they played at the show that included "Minerva," "Hexagram," "Bloody Cape" and "Good Morning Beautiful," by turning out a release that has the power to captivate the thickest of necks and the scrawniest of hipster's with a sound that is at times heavy and cutting while at others purely spiritual walls of sound. "Deftones" is definitely an uncompromising follow-up to 2000's "White Pony," and a unique sound in an all too homogenous market.

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