Summer concert season is in full swing and this past Tuesday Charlotte played host to one of the hottest bills of the summer as the Deftones and Rise Against made at stop at the CMCU Ampitheatre.  With two unique and very different bands on the bill, it was bound to be an interesting evening.  The American post hardcore of Thrice kicked things off to a small but appreciative crowd.  The band is experiencing a resurgence with their 2016 album “To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere” spawning hits “Black Honey” and “Hurricane” after a five year break between albums. Frontman Dustin Kensrue’s vocals were solid all night and lead guitarist Teppei Teranishi was outstanding.  Their set served as a welcome start to what was about to go down.

During the set change after Thrice, the rain that had been teasing and taunting us with sprinkles and drizzle all day decided to come down at a steadier pace.  A little bit of rain wasn’t going to slow Rise Against down and they started off with a bang opening with “Ready To Fall.”  The band is very vocal when it comes to political  and social issues supporting causes that are near and dear to them like  animal rights organizations and Amnesty International to name just a few.  Their latest album “Wolves” is a politically charged statement about the 2016 Presidential campaign and they treated the crowd to several songs including “The Violence” and the title track “Wolves.”  Tim Mcllrath delivered the goods vocally charging through crowd favorites “Re-Education (Through Labor)” and “Help Is On The Way” and doing his best to get the audience pumped up.  Lead guitarist Zach Blair always puts on a show and tonight was no exception as he was doing kick, splits, and jumping all over the stage all night long.  The band put on a stellar performance and closed the set out in true punk rock style with a rousing version of “Savior.”

The rain may have gotten heavier but the moods were light as the crowd wandered through the venue decked out in rain ponchos in eager anticipation of the Deftones.  The stage was dark and filling up with fog as the band came out one by one as the audience roared.  As the band stormed into “Headup,” lead vocalist Chino Moreno was finally illuminated at the front of the stage.  It was the moment everyone was waiting for and Deftones did not disappoint.  By this time of the night, it was a literal monsoon and at times, you could barely make out the musicians on stage as the rain and winds slammed into high gear.  Lead guitarist Stephen Carpenter was in absolute attack mode as bassist Sergio Vega and drummer Abe Cunningham drove the rhythm section hard.  There’s a real dichotomy when it comes to the alternative metal sounds of the Deftones.

On the one hand, it is some of the hardest and heaviest music around but it also can be very mellow with a chilled out vibe.  The band’s setlist was something of a surprise as they included only one song from their latest album, 2016’s “Gore” with an authoritative interpretation of “Phantom Bride.”  Instead they relied heavily on their third studio album “White Pony” playing five songs from the 2000 release.  The band brought a nice light show that was best appreciated from further back in the venue to get the full visual effect but relied on little else besides the music.  It happened to be Chino Moreno’s birthday and he celebrated with a beer and entertaining the crowd nonstop jumping and swinging his microphone cord around.   He stood up against the barricade and sang to the front of the pit and did his best to include the fans lined up along the fence at the right of the venue.  In fact, one lucky young lady  got a  huge hug from him as he climbed up to the fence level and even took her phone to take a selfie and a little live video as he sang to her.  It was great to see the band having such a good time and the crowd fed off the energy and gave it back to the band tenfold.

Highlights of their set included “My Own Summer (Shove It)” as well as the fan favorite “Diamond Eyes.”  Even though, they were completely drenched, the crowd wanted more.  After a short break, the band returned for a one song encore of “Root” from their debut album “Adrenaline.”  The roar heard from the stage was louder than the thunder as Deftones really went old school and gave it everything they had.

This tour was an interesting combination with the punk rock attack of Rise Against and the alternative metal musings of Deftones making it an unforgettable night of rock and roll under the stormy skies of Charlotte.


Deftones Set List:



My Own Summer (Shove It)

Swerve City

Digital Bath



Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)

Phantom Bride

Knife Party

Back To School (Mini Maggit)

Riviere (1st verse only)

Change(In the House of Flies)

Diamond Eyes

Rocket Skates






Rise Against Set List:


Ready To Fall

The Good Left Undone

Re-Education (Through Labor)


The Violence

Help Is On The Way

Give It All

Welcome to the Breakdwon


People Live Here


Prayer of the Refugee

Make It Stop




Photo Gallery

We would like to thank Kim Shiver from Livenation for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978.
My top five live shows ever are:

1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome.

2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours.
3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 – The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked!
4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live.
5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.