Incubus reminded us how vital they have been in shaping modern rock with a set list that covered 25 years of music.
After timeless alt underdogs Jimmy Eat World kicked off the proceedings with a muscular master class of angsty rock bombast, Incubus got off to a quick start at their Mattress Firm Amphitheatre headlining show on Friday, August 11. They opened with brand new single “Glitterbomb,” then proceeded to rattle off hits like ammunition during the show’s first act.
Despite a focus on material from their brand-new record 8, the band’s most popular trio of albums (the landmark Make Yourself, its grandiose follow-up Morning View, and the pop masterpiece Light Grenades) were well represented. An unbelievable late-set run-through of emotional hits “Pardon Me,” “Dig,” “Stellar,” and “Warning” saw the band astral projecting over a crowd whose emotions they seemingly controlled at will.
Over the course of a wide-ranging set that proved satisfying for fans both old and new, the band made a playful nod to Pink Floyd after their own “Wish You Were Here.” Phones were lit up and raised towards the sky in unison.
The fluid relationship between band and audience cultivated a vibe almost befitting a jam-band show. They improvised and told hilarious off-the-cuff stories about their memories of dreaming to be established and touring with Blink-182 before either band’s heyday.
This set made me remember everything I grew up loving about Incubus. It wasn’t so much nostalgia that triggered my memories but my realization that Incubus’ artistry and deep musical interplay demand your attention right here, right now.
As the lights came up after transcendental set closer “Aqueous Transmission,” the fleeing masses seemed as though they were one mind, united in a time of desperation.
Review by: Dennis Moon
Photos by: Josh Claros