The Tabernacle is something of an intermediate venue between a small club and an arena show. There’s enough charm and good visibility from every level to allow for the feeling of intimacy with a band even with a massive crowd. Though the show was sold out, that feeling permeated the air, lending itself to the good times ahead. Opening with fan favorites “Diamond Eyes”, “Be Quiet and Drive(Far Away)” and “My Own Summer” the crowd was quickly whipped into a frenzy. Being the stately gentleman that I am, I stayed out of the mosh pit and opted for a decent spot just under the balcony, but there was plenty of crowd surfing and ridiculous bouncing around from my vantage point. As the set progressed the band included several from their newest release Koi No Yokan including the superb “Rosemary”, “Poltergeist” and the epic “Tempest”. As expected the rest of the set was filled largely with tracks from Around the Fur, White Pony, and Diamond Eyes. The highlight (for me) was their amazing rendition of “Sextape” from Diamond Eyes. The new material was well suited for the set that contained a spectacular amount of emotion and ambiance. All of this was made better by their lighting “props” which resemble the communication beacons from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Certainly what they were playing was mostly a greatest hits collection, but the effort and positive energy they put in was undeniable. New bassist Sergio Vega seems to fit very well with original members Chino Moreno (vocals/guitar), Abe Cunningham (drums), Stephen Carpenter (guitar), and Frank Delgado (keys/samples) as indicated by their past two well-received records and his generally bright personality on stage. In fact the mood on stage seemed to be rather lighthearted, with Chino often saluting the crowd jokingly if he missed a line and taking ample time to banter between songs. I hope these guys continue to tour as long as they feel able, because they really bring a lot to their fans both young and old.