Hardcore and grind-hop were the two featured music styles when Deftones and 311 landed in town over the weekend. The packed-house audience had a body-surfing/mosh and rolling heyday Saturday night.
The hard, angry punk of Sacramento's Deftones - featuring bassist Chi Cheng, drummer Abe Cunningham, guitarist Stephen Carpenter and vocalist Chino Moreno - returned to Saltair a little over two months after their last performance. This time around, the crowd was more attentive - as evidenced by the bouncing, headbanging and fist pounding - though the band's sound wasn't as crisp as the last time.And maybe the crowd was just hamming it up for the roving video camera. But who cares? The show went on, and audience members left with smiles and sweat smeared on their young faces.
Plowing through scorchers such as "Minus Blindfold" and "Lifter," Deftones had everyone slamming on the floor. Chang's growling bass, Carpenter's flaying guitars and Cunningham's heavy back-beating drums provided a solid layer of sound on which Moreno could lay his paranoid chanting.
The most welcomed tune was the band's first certified, brick-slamming single "Bored." The band used feedback and other grating noises as music during its hourlong set.
Outer space and aliens are favorite topics of the Nebraska-based 311. This was evident in the Martian landscape that served as backdrop. But unlike former Pixies frontman Frank Black, who sings about aliens and such, 311's tunes are about self-reliance, unity and life.
The band belted out a strong set, which featured the popish single "Down" and an older flap-lipped tune called "Lucky."
Bassist P. Nut (Aaron Willis) highstepped in his corner as drummer Chad Sexton kept up the hip-hop, rock and reggae grooves that salted the set. Guitarist Timothy J. Mahoney kept to himself as he riffed off melodic leads and tight rhythms. Vocalist Nicholas Hexum (who also played guitar on some songs) and turntable scratcher Count S.A. (Doug Martinez) took turns with the vocal solos and teamed during the dynamic duets.
Other lively tunes the band jabbed out included the reggae-inspired "Hive," the friction grind of "All Mixed Up" and dancehall-like "Jackolantern's Weather." Latin grooves came through in an earlier hit called "Do You Right." And rhythmic chants came through with "Unity," the band's call for alliance.
Though the mix could have been louder and the vocals a little clearer, energy charged the gig. The two singers strutted, bounced and pogoed across the stage as the sweat-drenched audience members, following the band's lead, bopped into each other. In fact, the infectious beats caused even the most conservative of concertgoers to bob their heads and sway their hips.
The driving rants of "Misdirected Hostility," a slam on bands that specialize in the so-called complaint rock, arrogance and drug abuse and the easy beats of "My Stoney Baby" also highlighted the set.
The music of 311 is not as abrasive as other grind-hop acts such as Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More and the Beastie Boys, and the band's message is to have fun.
"There's not enough time in life to be upset and angry," Martinez had said in an interview late last year.
And when 311 plays, it has fun. That was evident at Saturday's performance.