If you were alive and listening to heavy music in the ’90s, you probably owned albums by Deftones (probably Around the Fur) and Refused (definitely The Shape of Punk to Come). While Refused broke up just after the release of that seminal 1998 album, Deftones soldiered on, despite the loss of bassist Chi Cheng, who died in 2013 after suffering injuries in a car accident five years prior. We all know what happened next. Deftones went on to release three albums with Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega, two while Cheng was still in a semi-vegetative state. Refused reunited in 2012 and released last year’s largely excellent Freedom. The two bands are currently on tour, with Brooklyn’s Spotlights opening, which you might have noticed from reading their exclusive Metal Insider tour diary (which you can read here, here and here). With such a superb tour, we attended both their Boston (8/9) and Asbury Park (8/10) shows, and have commentary and photos from Boston’s show from Nathan Katsiaficas and photos in Asbury from Melinda Oswandel.
Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 8/9
Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony Summer Stage, 8/10
Asbury Park is arguably the most rock and roll town in New Jersey. Having given birth to Bruce Springsteen, venues like the Stone Pony and The Saint and the sadly-defunct Asbury Lanes has nurtured talent since. It’s also the beach of choice for rock and metal Jersey suburbanites. The Stone Pony Summer Stage, to the left of the legendary venue, has served as an outdoor concert venue for the likes of the early years of the Warped Tour, and more recently, the likes of O.A.R., Primus and Jane’s Addiction, to name a few from this year. With several bands playing inside the Pony to open things up, Spotlights took the stage early, at 6:15. The first show featuring Chris Enriquez on drums, the band played a tight half hour set that served as a great way to start off the evening for the slowly assembling crowd. While more were there for Refused, the venue was still about half full, with some not recognizing the importance and lineage of the band. They were offset by the superfans, yelling along to every word. Dennis Lyxzén again made his way into the crowd. At one point towards the end of their set, either a fan was thrown out by security guards or trying to sneak in, and Lyxzén pleaded with security to let him stay for the rest of their set. Deftones are professionals at this point. An amazing light show, a varied set list that didn’t differ that much from the previous evening’s set. Cramming 21 songs into a little over 90 minutes, the set ran the gamut, favoring Around the Fur and White Pony, but playing at least one song from each album.