Nov. 13, 2003

Deftones To Deliver Chicago a Post-Thanksgiving Dessert

By Randy J. Klodz

The acclaimed heavy rock act Deftones will be making its first headlining appearance in Chicago since the release of the band’s fourth studio effort, “Deftones,” which hit stores on May 20. The band is prepared to rock the Aragon Ballroom on Nov. 30, with Thrice and Thursday slotted to open.

The quintet, based in Sacramento, Calif., features Chino Moreno on vocals and guitars, Stef Carpenter on guitars, Chi Cheng on bass, Abe Cunningham on drums and Frank Delgado on samples and keys. Though the band has been making music well before its 1995 debut album “Adrenaline,” many people, including Chicago radio personnel introduced the song “Change (In the House of Flies)” off of the acclaimed 2000 release “White Pony,” as “This new band named Deftones.”

But after three years, bassist Chi Cheng takes it in stride. “People are starting to do their homework a little more. People are starting to go a little like, ‘Uh, yeah, Deftones, that new band that’s been around for 15 years,” he said. “I guess if you’r [band is] introduced to people for the first time then for them it’s new, but it’s a little bit like, ‘Hey man, come on.’”

Deftones made its way through Chicago on May 11, when the band played to a sold-out Metro, which was part of the band’s Guerilla-style tour where the band booked shows in small clubs while giving fans a short notice for ticket sales, just before the May 20 release of the self-titled album. The band also supported Metallica on this summer’s second edition of the famed Summer Sanitarium Tour along with Mudvayne, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit.

Though much has been printed about the way Chicago fans booed Limp Bizkit off the stage after the band had reportedly played only one-quarter of the scheduled set time, Cheng said Deftones still fared well with the audience. “Chicago has always been good to us,” he said, “it’s always like ‘Ah yeah, right-on, Chicago will be dope.’ You have to admit, Metallica is a legendary band and their fans aren’t going to roll over and smile for anyone. You’ve got to work for it.”

And Deftones have certainly worked for it. The band’s live shows are tough to beat, and with Deftones’ song catalog being four albums deep, the shows can only get better. Cheng said that the band plans to play a varied set list for each city on the tour, and that fans should anticipate the band to play a balanced set by selecting songs from every album.

“Deftones” features the smash hit “Minerva,” one of the songs that blew up on rock radio this summer with the lyrics: “So God bless you all / For the song you saved us oh / For the hearts you break, every time you moan.” Other choice singles include the heavy “Hexagram” and “Bloody Cape,” of which the band is reportedly scheduled to soon release a music video.

The Aragon Ballroom is at 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $27.00 each. Showtime is listed for 7 p.m. with rock acts Thrice and Thursday scheduled to warm the stage. For more information on Deftones, log on to www.deftones.com.

Deftones Photo: Annamaria DiSanto