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Deftones’ show must go on

Band’s singer fights illness to give solid performance

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THE DEFTONES, with Glassjaw; Wednesday evening, Utah State Fairpark, one performance only.

Salt Lake City was really lucky to see the Deftones Wednesday night.

No, the band wasn't obscured by the haze from wildfires that hit the area this past week; it nearly canceled the show because of sickness. Lead singer Chino Moreno had strep throat.

However, the band wasn't about to leave its fans hanging; the Deftones played their show.

"You guys have to compensate for me," Moreno said during the gritty set. "I've been laid up sick. So I need your energy to keep the show going."

Well, he couldn't have asked a more accommodating audience. The horde of Deftones fans crowded on the grassy knoll of the Utah State Fairpark mall and body surfed, moshed and rocked out to the tight, short set.

There were even some concertgoers who laid on the grass and enjoyed the concert while watching rain clouds gather overhead.

Numbers like "My Own Summer (Shove It)" and the band's breakthrough hit, "Root," blasted their way out of the speaker stacks. All the while, the stage backdrop lit up with glittery lights.

Guitarist Stephen Carpenter made his ax scream during his leads and while chugging out the power-rhythm chords.

Fresh songs like "Changes (In the House of Flies)" and "Digital Bath" from the new album, "White Pony," were highlighted by whiplash spotlights that shot blades of green and red beams into the audience.

Drummer Abe Cunningham's solid pounding kept in sync with DJ Frank Delgado's sampling, while bassist Chi Cheng turned his instrument into a rag doll during the friction-wrapping arrangements.

The bouncing "7 Words" and a remake of Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" had the audience bouncing and swirling in a frenzy as Moreno, his body noticeably drained by his illness, held his ground and brought out some tense, mellow vocals before blasting out into full-on screams.

New York's Glassjaw opened the evening at 7:30 p.m., although the tickets said the show was to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Vocalist Daryl Palumbo, guitarists Justin Beck and Todd N. Weinstock, bassist Manuel Carrero and drummer Larry Gorman played a tight set full of unoriginal sounds. All the songs were from the band's debut album, "Everything You Wanted to Know About Silence."

"Piano" and "Majour" had the band sounding like a small-time Pantera wannabe, and during "Babe," Palumbo began quoting lyrics from Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole."

Still, the band played tight and the sound was crisp and even. And Palumbo chided the moshing audience for being too rough a few minutes after he told them to knock each other around.

E-MAIL: scott@desnews.com