Review and Photos by Phil BonyataIncubus has fortunately found itself nicely positioned in the transition from the dying rasps of rap metal and the rebirth of New York street, Lou Reed rock n' roll cool. They laid their hand down during the height of Limp Bizkit and Korn and forged their own unique sound that still pays homage to true rock, mixed with some hybrid metal and melodies that set them apart from most bands today.
Brandon Boyd, so skinny his mop of hair worked as a ballast, blistered the stage with his post new punk preening. Clad in a wrinkled white dress shirt, new wave skinny tie and jagged cut shorts that rested below his knees, Brandon cockily strutted to the mic to claim his place as one of rocks exciting and original new singers. Head tilted back and tattooed arm extended high, he concentrated his energy on the explosive "Nice to Know You." Dirk Lance's chunky bass lines tried to top the high end beats of drummer Jose Pasillas kinetic foundation. Boyd would have none of this competition and proceeded to steal the spotlight back with his steely and pouty voice as his bandmates relaxed back into their submissive roles on the multi-layered "Wish You Were Here." The band has a penchant for drama and delightful excess that only enhances their poignant lyrics and classically influenced guitars that still know how to drive the last nail in the coffin without guilt.
Taking a page out of Scott Weiland's playbook, Boyd knelt down and waited until the hot lava erupted on "11am" and jumped and swayed his angular body to every chord inflection until his chest could only throb back-and-forth in unison with the song's core beat. "Warning" found the backdrops flickering starlight nicely silhouette Brandon's prancing and preying body as the band slowly built the pyramid from the top down. Layered without proper structure, it came together in a chaotic and swirling maelstrom that found the melodies hiding behind the phat putter-putter bass overtones until it's time came to assert itself and let Boyd take command.
"Are You In?" had the ghost of Bono help Brandon along in the chorus. Ripe and round in it's delivery, the nasally lyrics mixed nicely with the spacey backing from the entire band. "Pardon Me" found Boyd once again making love to the mic. With everything to gain he went introspective and pushed the physical barrier between matter and what matters into a fight for survival and left the soft techno accents to wilt in the sun.
Incubus has set a course that will sail over their dying contemporaries as surely as they will mature and build a bridge to tomorrows new music.
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