There’s likely a song in Incubus’s long storied career that you can relate to on a personal level. Perhaps you used “Stellar” to mark how you felt about a significant other. Maybe you played “Drive” during that epiphany moment where one life choice brought you to a new horizon. The alternative rock, five-piece from Calabasas, Calif. has found a way to stick with their fans, no matter the age or the album cycle.
You would think that a tour with Incubus and Jimmy Eat World would be a no-brainer. These are two alternative rock bands who continue to put out quality music while trying to stretch their horizons. This combo was perfect for a random Thursday summer night leading into the weekend. Jimmy Eat World’s set resembled much of your everyday street corner with corner street lights. Smoke and red house lights combined to be reminiscent of the energy of having an outdoor party. This combined with the music to lead in the captivation of their 90’s style “power rock” with songs that touched upon their entire discography.
“Sweetness” and “The Middle” were added to the end of the set like a walk down to memory lane of those final MTV days when you would hear those catchy choruses. Singer/guitarist Jim Adkins, excited and animated enthused people to get up and dance in the aisles and on the lawn.
With 26 years under their belt and eight full length albums to draw from, Incubus had some lead way in intermixing new material with older cuts. Many of the songs from 8 sounded like they were plucked straight out of sessions from the band’s previous albums like 2001’s Morning View or 2004’s A Crow Left of the Murder. Throughout this tour, there has been three variations of set lists, and on this particular night in Camden, N.J., the band led with “Quicksand” and “A Kiss to Send Us Off”, two songs from 2006’s Light Grenades.
From there, everything was intricately woven to balance the up-tempo with the slower numbers. Old time favorite “Stellar” was bookmarked by the fast paced first single of the new album, “Nimble Bastard.” During the song, lead singer Brandon Boyd really lost himself within the high notes as the album cover insignia projected on a big screen.
There was a real poignant moment in the show that cam as a tribute to deceased lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington. The band melded their song “Wish You Were Here” with the Pink Floyd version as a tribute. Both bands toured together in 2012 on the 11th annual Honda Civic Tour, and with a mutual respect that was shown in interviews, it was a loss that was felt throughout the rock community.
Throughout the night where fans were able to relive hearing songs like “Pardon Me” and “Dig,” the newer songs like “State of The Art” and “Loneliest” felt right at home as well. Notably absent from the set list were songs from Incubus’ mostly mid-tempo laden album, 2011’s If Not Now, When?. Before the release of their 2015 EP, Trust Fall (Side A), it seemed like Incubus were still trying to find their footing in soaking up some new inspiration. INNW was a departure from the sound that fans were used to, but 8 showed that the band could still draw from their funk rock/metal roots and meld it with something new. Incubus could tour the summer forever and fill an hour and a half of your summer nights with beautifully written nostalgia.
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