At last, the city of Dallas has been blessed (or cursed) with its very own House of Blues in the downtown area of Victory Park. While all the amenities of the place are rather impressive, what stood out the most was the main music hall downstairs. Once inside, it makes the venue feel a bit more personal and intimate. On hand for a 2nd of two shows in a row was California alt-metal heroes Deftones and the Washington-state prog/hard-core trio The Fall Of Troy.
The last time I saw TFOT was with Poison The Well and that crowd really seem to embrace them. On tour promoting their latest release Manipulator (Equal Vision), I was curious to see how they would appeal to the remnants of straggling nu-metal junkies still aching for hip-hop beats and maybe even a “wicked pit”. What the crowd got instead was a perfect collision of prog-rock and hard-core that could satisfy anyone waiting for the next Mars Volta record. Plenty of unyielding riffs, steady rhythms and a lucid-like quality frontman/guitarist Thomas Erak’s to and fro vocals he has. Think of somewhere along the lines of Geddy Lee of Rush or Cedric Zavala from his At The Drive-In days. At times, the music even had a Glassjaw-like quality to it.
Starting the set with “Sledgehammer”, they kept their show short and sweet (clocking in right at 35 minutes) with a 6-song selection that included “Ex-Creations” and “Semi-Fiction” They closed with the track “Shhh! If You're Quiet, I'll Show You a Dinosaur!” and while Erak left his guitar on a loop courtesy of his pedals, he took advantage of the open stage by taking the mic and wailing and screaming with abandon. While the crowd was in obvious haste for the headliners, TFOT held their own, managed to deliver and left a lasting impression on some in the crowd for sure.
The Deftones began their set with the strange yet somewhat appropriate track “Passenger” from White Pony and immediately blended a nice selection of songs from all four of their releases. The standouts of the evening were “Hole In The Earth”, “Nosebleed” and of course “My Own Summer (Shove It)”. Seeing how this was the ninth time I have seen this band, I feel I can make a proper assessment of whether this was a good or bad show. This was definitely a good one. This band has always been more suited for the intimate clubs & theatres and it definitely showed.
The sound in HOB was quite surprising as the mix really complimented both bands very well. The only surprising thing was since the show started right at 8pm, I was in the car and on my home by 10:15pm. Rather early by rock standards but definitely appreciated by mine.