The Roxy is a great venue and tons of great bands have gotten their start there, but it’s not a place where you would expect one of the best vocalists in metal to play on a weeknight. However, that’s exactly what happened when Deftones’ frontman Chino Moreno took the stage with his newest side project, ††† (Crosses), Wednesday night, leading fans to pack the club to a greater extent than I have ever personally experienced.
At its core, Crosses is a trio consisting of Chino on vocals, Chuck Doom on bass, and longtime friend of Chino/ex-guitarist of Far Shaun Lopez, while the touring version of the band is rounded out by Dino Campanella of Dredge and Jono Evans of Endless Hallway. Though this side project isn’t generally considered a “super group,” after seeing Wednesday’s show I think the moniker is more than fitting.
Crosses started the night with a Frank Sinatra track before the curtains even lifted (a move I’m still not sure I completely understand), and then they quickly jumped into the set’s opening track, “This is a Trick.” The crowd locked onto Chino, waiting for the first lyrics to leave his mouth, and when the moment finally arrived, everyone went into a frenzy of dancing and singing along. While a mosh pit never formed, the energy that Chino brought with him to the stage flowed through the crowd and held steady throughout the entire hour-and-fifteen-minute set.
Aside from the music, one of the show highlights was undoubtedly seeing the constant smile on Chino’s face. It was obvious that he was enjoying this show as much as the fans, saying “Thank you!” after every track like he had paid to see the audience. Chino’s gratitude towards the fans was amazing, with the iconic frontman constantly shaking hands with the crowd, giving high fives, and I am pretty sure I even saw a fist bump at one point.
The live show really brings the new album to life thanks to the energy of the members. Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the album, but seeing the tracks performed live and realizing just how complex they are musically gave me a new perspective on the LP. The recorded album is a bit softer, but Crosses’ members give it an added edge live, and Chino’s high-pitched screams and haunting vocals really soar throughout the live performance. I really wonder how he has been able to sing like this for as long as he has, going from the highest screams to the softest of croons, but I am happy he can. Verdict: this album is meant to be heard live.
I went into this show thinking it would be rather short since the group’s catalogue is fairly thin, but after an hour and fifteen minutes of pure bliss, I was happy to be proven wrong. I am pretty sure they played almost all of their tracks, but the ones that really stuck with me were the eerie “Bitches Brew,” the droning yet catchy “The Epilogue,” and a personal favorite of mine, “Option.” The band left the stage for a short minute before returning for an encore of two more tracks, one of which I believe was a cover of “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus. Ending the performance with a huge “Thank you!” to the fans before leaving the stage while the synths and guitars were still droning on was the perfect end to this once-in-a-lifetime show.
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