Incubus | 8.20.11

Boyd couldn’t get one of those voices out of his head as he repeated the masculine “Take your shirt off,” that was yelled at him by a gentleman throughout the night.




Incubus, If Not Now, When? Tour, Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO

 Closing out Incubus’s nearly two hour set Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre was “Tomorrow’s Food”. This symbolic song may have been about bigger things in general, but for the crowd at VWA it was a soothing transitional moment on a night that included many. With lyrics like “I know you vie for the good ole’ days,” the message was transmitted that new ideas are always incoming to push older ones out of the way, and Incubus are not a group to stick to old ways simply because.

 Starting with this idea rather early in the night were opener’s Greek Fire. Though the rest of the tour featured rising band Young the Giant, St. Louis certainly did not miss their presence. Having just self-released their first full length album, Deus Ex Machina, on Tuesday, Greek Fire was more than ready to warm up the crowd while celebrating their bright future.
Greek Fire lead singer Moon gets the crowd fired up
Lead singer Moon, along with guitarist Ryan Phillips, bassist Mark Joseph Roth, and drummer Johnny Venus more than live up to their self described “dramatic, soaring, rock music” every time they step on the stage.  From opener and local hit “Doesn’t Matter Anyways” to life affirming closer “Dreaming In Déjà Vu”, Moon brought the sweaty crowd under his welcoming arms to draw every bit of participation possible.
Several in the crowd received a more personal experience as the interactive lead-singer joined them in the seats for "Under the Stars" as well as portions of "Put Your Hands On Me". The latter of which features one of the heaviest jams/breakdowns heard in some time, that normally incites frantic jumping at their own shows, but received only admiration from the previously unprepared opening crowd. The band surely sold quite a few cd’s after their set, and will hopefully be taking their talents nationwide before long, so see them soon.
Ryan Phillips finesses his was through intricate but powerful riffs
After a rather quick 30 minute changeover the crowd was more than primed for their headliners. The band has in the past come out to a slower, more initiating song. On the muggy weekend night however their was no need for a warm-up, as the crowd immediately reacted to the opening guitar strums from Mike Einziger, and DJ Kilmore’s turn-tablism on "Pardon Me". 
It would not take the group long to dive into their newest release, If Not Now, When?, as the first single, “Adolescents”came third. The song was a perfect live introduction to the bands newest work as it is one of the heavier tracks musically.  It also managed to show off the bands seemingly hi-def display with their video for the song. 
Boyd leads the band through "Promises, Promises"
The band’s setlist for the night seemed designed very much like an Incubus album, with many moments designed to get the crowds blood moving such as a streak of “Circles”, “When It Comes”, and “Vitamin” that had the crowd jumping, fist pumping, and head banging. The band then would remind the crowd that they are far from only being funk metal with a drawn out live gem such as new track “In the Company of Wolves”. Following that was an acoustic section which featured lead singer Brandon Boyd, and Einziger taking the stage alone for a rendition of “Defiance” as well as “Talk Shows On Mute”, before diving even further back to an full electric 2001 track, “Just A Phase”.
After another extended jam, “Sick Sad Little World”, the band dove into the seemingly obligatory sing-along of “Drive”, which lead to Boyd, and the rest of the band momentarily cutting out to hear the voices of the crowd. Boyd couldn’t get one of those voices out of his head as he repeated the masculine “Take your shirt off,” that was yelled at him by a gentleman throughout the night. He did eventually abandon it by sets end, though whether it was one mans prodding or the humidity we shall never know. 
Driving the crowd into a near nap with “Isadore”, the band quickly recovered with the adrenaline shot that was set closer, “Nice To Know You”. By the end of the song the crowd was ready for another hour of tunes, as they beat on the amphitheatres seats, and screamed/chanted the bands name. The band did reemerge, and could not haven chosen a better track for the enthusiastic crowd than , “Megalomaniac”. The crowd quickly began a rhythmic clap to bring in the hit track off 2004s’ A Crow Left of the Murder, and then proceeded to hum/whisper/scream every lyric of the song, depending on what level of fan they were. 
Guitarist Mike Einziger stays focused for his complicated guitar parts.
It recently seems common practice for the band to end with an aurally religious experience. On recent tours it has included, “Aqueous Transmission” or “Warning”. This time however is would be the full circle effect of “Tomorrows Food”. The band recognizes wonderfully that their generation no longer controls the flow of ideas into the mainstream, however they are more than happy to gently flow down that stream instead of fighting.
Though Incubus have always been more than open to musical experimentation, they have never forgotten the fans that have been with them for a long time, always leaving a crack in the door behind, while opening the next ten.  The bands acceptance of the new and embrace of the old is what makes an Incubus concert more an experience than simple entertainment. | Bruce Matlock


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