Incubus

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Thursday, August 20, 2009

You know, you hear it a lot nowadays after concerts, “so and so delivered a perfect performance!”. But in the case of Incubus, that statement was actually true. After a much needed (and deserved) year of resting Incubus are back out on tour supporting their latest 2-disc release, Monuments and Melodies, a CD consisting of the-best-of the band as well as a few b-sides and bonus tracks.

Packing pavilions all summer long, Incubus’ tour rolled into the Virginia Beach Amphitheater on August 11th, under a mask of lightning-stricken skies and suffocating humidity. With all the “bros” tailgating in the parking lot, larger and larger crowds started congregating to the entrance and eventually scattering to their respective seats. After sitting through the opening band, The Duke Spirit, hailing from across The Pond, the level of anticipation grew exponentially, as well as the foreboding feeling that it was going to storm. At exactly nine PM, under threats of storms, Incubus finally took the stage to thunderous applause. As guitarist Mike Einziger, DJ/Pianist Chris Kilmore, bassist Ben Kenney, drummer Jose Pasillas and lead singer Brandon Boyd hit the stage they immediately started into their opening song “Pardon Me”. Unfortunately for the first two-three songs the vocals were turned down way too low, so understanding Brandon was a bit tough, but they were eventually fixed and the show only went up from there, jamming to some of their biggest hits including “Wish You Were Here”, “Nice to Know You”, “Anna Molly” and even closing out their set with a cover of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”. But it wasn’t just the quality of the setlist that made this evening what it was. The visual splendor was awe-inspiring. A jumbo-screen scaling the full length of the stage, depicting everything from bright, sandy shores to captivating city skylines. During “Circles” they even displayed the key phrase of the song, “What would it mean to you?”. Showing off other areas of musical expertise, Brandon played a didgeridoo for the opening portion of “Redefine” as well as various percussion instruments for other songs. Some other pleasant surprises included acoustic performances of “Drive” (though I’ve heard they switched off between piano-only and acoustic performances of this song sporadically throughout this tour), “Dig” and “Talk Shows on Mute” as well as Mike playing a sitar on “Aqueous Transmission”.

Overall it was one of the most flawless performances I’ve seen to date, even out-shadowing the last two times I’d seen Incubus. From start to finish it was one fantastic song after another and even when Brandon’s vocals weren’t high enough to hear, you could hear the lyrics echo from the crowd. Love them or hate them Incubus has earned the success they have and if they continue to play shows like tonight, they will only get bigger.

Vocals: 10
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. Pardon Me
2. Nice To Know You
3. Anna Molly
4. Stellar
5. Megalomaniac
6. Circles
7. Love Hurts
8. Just a Phase
9. Drive
10. Talk Shows On Mute
11. Dig
12. Redefine
13. Warning
14. Oil And Water
15. Quicksand
16. A Kiss To Send Us Off
17. Wish You Were Here
18. Aqueous Transmission

Encore:

19. Are You In?
20. Let’s Go Crazy (Prince cover)

Photos:

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