When Incubus releases an album nowadays, the reaction amongst the public at large isn’t anywhere close to the proactive degree that surrounded “Make Yourself” and “Morning View.” But in looking at the packed pavilion and equally dense lawn at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, it may as well have been 2001 all over again thanks to an extremely dedicated base that’s stayed glued to the group’s ever-changing set lists.
Brandon Boyd’s mighty voice held up firmly from start to finish, while each player’s ability to breath so much life into older tunes and decision to steer away from sheer nostalgia will likely ensure Incubus’ fruitful concert career continues, regardless of where future projects land on the charts.
In that regard, Incubus could be compared to the always spontaneous Pearl Jam, plus with the recent deaths of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Linkin Park’s Chester Benningon, the band’s look back to happier times in the alternative rock community may have been a contributing factor. No matter the reasons, the group sounded great playing all the radio requirements, alongside a look at its latest collection “8,” including the mood-building opener “Glitterbomb.”From there, Incubus’ momentum picked up with the familiar shouts of “Circles,” and a little later, gained some additional steam with the thundering “Megalomaniac.” By then, these masters of melding heavy, electronic and funky flavors fully revealed a gigantic circular screen, volcano of smoke and flurry of lights that frequently shined on a crowd singing along at full steam.
One of the most obvious examples of participation came throughout the Incubus original “Wish You Were Here,” but it was also paired with a clever curveball of Pink Floyd’s entirely different tune that shares the same title. Other regulars such as “Pardon Me” and “Drive” gave the guys additional license to pepper in some more current cuts (“Loneliest,” “Make No Sound In The Digital Forest,” “Throw Out The Map”), though none were nearly as connective.
If anything, Incubus blew through its most massive hits a little too early with “Nice To Know You” likely serving as the casual fans’ crescendo prior to at least another half-hour of more reserved reactions. Even so, Brandon Boyd’s mighty voice held up firmly from start to finish, while each player’s ability to breath so much life into older tunes and decision to steer away from sheer nostalgia will likely ensure this fruitful concert career continues, regardless of where future projects land on the charts.
Outside of rising to recognition around the same time, power pop/punk/alt-rock supporters Jimmy Eat World shared little stylistic similarity to the headliners, and besides a handful of die-hards in the pit area or sprinkled in the stands, the night appeared to be all about Incubus. Nonetheless, Jim Adkins and his fellow lifers sounded stellar recalling “Bleed American,” “Big Casino,” “Lucky Denver Mint” and “Futures,” right up through a sampling of last year’s “Integrity Blues,” plus the hooks were so huge throughout “A Praise Chorus,” “Sweetness” and “The Middle” that most everyone joined in.
Keeping the tone locked right in the here and now, openers Judah & The Lion brought a shuffle of alternative, folk and dance rock to the festivities following a season of opening for Twenty One Pilots. Having already played so many arenas surely helped the relative newcomers seem absolutely fearless, including front man Judah Akers’ sprint through the seats and grass during “Take It All Back” to rightfully claim the attention of early arrivers.
Upcoming concert highlights at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre include Rod Stewart with Cyndi Lauper (Aug. 5); Kings Of Leon (Aug. 12); Lady Antebellum (Aug. 19); Depeche Mode (Aug. 30); John Mayer (Sept. 2); Deep Purple and Alice Cooper (Sept. 6); Luke Bryan (Sept. 16); Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows (Sept. 17) and Brad Paisley (Sept. 23). For additional details, visit LiveNation.com.