San Antonio showed its love for Deftones during the band's Tuesday show at AT&T Center

While the headliner, a local favorite, was the main draw, openers Gojira and Vowws also won over the crowd.

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click to enlarge Deftones singer Chino Moreno never let the energy wane during Tuesday's show. - Jaime Monzon
Jaime Monzon
Deftones singer Chino Moreno never let the energy wane during Tuesday's show.
For photos of the show, check out the Current's slideshow of the event.

An energy buzzed through the sold-out AT&T Center crowd on Tuesday night as Deftones fans waited for the show to get underway. It was easy to understand the anticipation. The band had twice postponed its tour due to COVID-19, also announcing along the way that Poppy had dropped from the bill and been replaced by Vowws.

But the day had finally arrived. The arena was a sea of e-girls, metalheads and hood foos — a diverse group all brought together under one roof to experience the Deftones, a San Antonio favorite.

The night’s openers, electronic duo Vowws dimmed the lights for a subtle, spooky ambiance. Dressed in their funerary finest, the pair created music that exuded an eerie graveyard energy. As purple and green lights flooded the arena, bodies in the crowd flowed in dance.

Marrying Depeche Mode-reminiscent vocals and a Twin Tribe-style instrumental approach, the duo bathed the crowd in '80s gothic vibes before the metallic frenzy yet to come. The thickness of Vowws' warbly guitar riffs made up for the flatness of some of its programmed beats.

French progressive metalers Gojira took to the stage after a countdown flashed onscreen. From the opening notes, the band punched the audience in the face with intensity — a complete change of pace from the night’s more subdued opener.

The crowd met Gojira with a surprising enthusiasm — a theme that ran through the whole show — and the energy never let up.

By the second song, a mosh pit broke out, and crowd surfers popped up in droves, reacting to Gojira’s heavy, distortion-filled set. Drummer Mario Duplantier stole the show with his offbeat, rapid-fire playing. Adding to the intensity, the band’s light show followed the music perfectly, alternating between flashing strobes and more atmospheric touches that resembled rainfall.

Drawing on songs from its first album through last year's Fortitude, the band’s solid performance won over not just the die-hard metalheads but those who just turned up looking for a good time.

click to enlarge French metal act Gojira punched hard during its set. - Jaime Monzon
Jaime Monzon
French metal act Gojira punched hard during its set.
After Gojira’s set, the lights went down, and a slow fog flowed across the stage. Excitement built as the headliner — a band familiar to San Antonio audiences from its near-constant play on KISS-FM — took the stage.

Fittingly, the Deftones kicked off their set with "Genesis," the opening track from their most recent album Ohms. As the first fervent notes hit, the audience went wild.

The stage set’s geometric figures and retractable screens made for an unparalleled light show. A diamond-shaped light showered the band with colored rays. Videos celebrating the female form backed the group’s already steamy, innuendo-filled songs.

Every so often, lead singer Chino Moreno brought out his guitar, fully putting his energy and dynamism on display. There's a reason the crowd was literally shoving each other during "My Own Summer (Shove It)," and that reason was Moreno. The rest of the group — which includes a turntablist and, as of this year, a new touring bassist — performed with just as much zeal.

The audience’s passion for the music didn’t wane, even when the Deftones shifted into slower songs.

The screams and sing-alongs continued as the band pivoted between classics such as "Change (In the House of Flies)" and deeper cuts including "Engine No. 9." All the while, Moreno was a whirling ball of hype, dancing, moshing and even making a little love to the microphone.

The show ended with the Deftones jamming their hearts out to a series of older tracks. After the Moreno called out his final thanks and band members showered the audience with their last guitar picks, fans continued to call out for more. It was a rowdy night that proved that, even after all these years, the Deftones are forever welcome in San Antonio.

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