Incubus 2022

Incubus @ O2 Academy Birmingham, 28th September 2022

Fusion rockers Incubus kicked off their 2022 UK tour dates with an epic set of classics, predominately from late 90’s albums Make Yourself and Morning View. A nostalgic evening of teenage memories personified ensued. Incubus have been described as nu-metal, but their sound is very different to that of other more typical nu-metal bands like Linkin Park. They’ve also been compared to Pearl Jam and Faith No More, but that doesn’t sum up their sound either. To be honest, the only thing that sounds like Incubus is, well, Incubus.
The show opened with the anthemic ‘Nice to Know You’ and the energy stayed high with ‘Circles’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’. There were a few more delicate moments in the evening, notably when guitarist, Mike Einziger, broke out his acoustic to play the solemn ‘Mexico’.

The venue was full and the crowd ready to participate. You’d have been hard pushed to find someone who wasn’t either fist pumping or singing along for most of the night. Classics ‘Pardon Me, ‘The Warmth’, and show-closer ‘Drive’ produced the most decibels. ‘Drive’ has to be one of the songs all of us teenage guitarists in the late 90’s and early 2000’s used to sit and play in our bedrooms.

Visually the show wasn’t at all gimmicky, and the only effects were the lights which varied from all out strobe to barely there. Incubus don’t need showy gimmicks though; they can carry a show no problem on their talent as musicians. DJ Chris Kilmore adds the electronics, spinning and scratching on the decks, and Mike Einziger is a creative genius on guitar. Bass player Ben Kenney had the chance to shine through on songs like the funky ‘Are You In?’.

Despite his prolific and deep-cutting lyrics, singer Brandon Boyd is a man of few words on stage. He limited himself to several rounds of ‘Thank you’ and ‘Is everyone ok?’. Fair enough, let the songs do the talking. Aside from that, Brandon’s super charismatic in his movements, and throws all his energy into feeling the songs and leading the band. Not to mention he’s looking good physically for 46.

There’s a distinct lack of tracks from S.C.I.E.N.C.E (1997) in Incubus’ live shows, save for ‘Vitamin’ which gives drummer José Pasillas a chance to make himself known. I can’t tell you how much I’d have loved them to play ‘A Certain Shade of Green’ – in my opinion one of their all-time best tracks – but it’s probably not gonna happen.

The main part of the set closed with ‘Dig’, one of two songs Incubus played from their 2006 album Light Grenades, but the band came back for a two-song encore starting with ‘Warning’. There are just four UK dates on this tour, the last being in Manchester this Sunday 2 October, so get your skates on if you want a chance to relive your teenage rock club years.

Incubus Setlist

1. Nice to Know You
2. Circles
3. Wish You Were Here
4. Anna Molly
5. Just a Phase

6. Are You In?
7. Sick Sad Little World
8. Stellar
9. Megalomaniac
10. Nowhere Fast
11. Mexico
12. Pardon Me
13. Karma, Come Back
14. Vitamin
15. The Warmth
16. Dig
17. Warning
18. Drive

Review : Chrissie Duxson

Feature photo courtesy of PR.

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