A career that has spanned just over two decades is impressive by any standards in modern music, a lot can be said about the long running legend that is the band Incubus. Producing innovative and original music after such a long time in an industry littered with popular music and repetitive beats, requires a lot of dedication and this 5-piece band from California subsquently commands a certain amount of respect among its fans and critics.
The Concert at Tonhalle on Thursday 12 July was part of the current world tour to promote their newest album 'If not now, When?' In all honesty, it does not quite compare to any previous albums. It lacks the charm and edge that their back catalogue holds for many of the fans.
The Tonhalle turned out to be the perfect-sized venue for the show; it held enough people for a big concert vibe whilst still remaining intimate enough for the audience to feel the emotions of the band on stage. The supporting act, fiN, turned out to be a somewhat mediocre indie Brit pop band, and was sadly nothing particularly worth remembering. But as with most gigs with a band like this, the crowd was there for one reason only and that was to see the headliners.
Incubus took the stage with the hard-hitting song 'Privilege', with a small cut of the rock classic 'War Pigs' by Black Sabbath mixed into the intro. This turned out to be a perfect choice to chum the crowd into an excited frenzy for the rest of the gig. Although the band was on tour to promote their newest album, they played surprisingly few songs from the new work. Instead, they played what could only be described as every true Incubus fan's dream of a set. It featured such gems as 'Megalomaniac', 'Are You in?', 'Drive' and 'Talk Shows on Mute'. The encore was what really hit the final nail, with a 4 song hammer including 'A Certain Shade of Green', a head-banging, heavy guitar driven track from the album S.C.I.E.N.C.E. The crowd was given one final chance to use what little energy they had left to finish the show on a high note. The set was almost flawlessly assembled with a seamless flow between the songs that only comes from years of playing together as a band. It was difficult to find fault in the way the band played or acted on stage; each knew their place and what was expected of them, which is difficult to say for some other modern bands on the circuit at the moment.
The key to any good concert is to take something away from the show that speaks to you personally, and what I took away was a rekindled love for the music of Incubus. Over the years, they had become a back shelf band in my music collection, only being listened to from time to time. They were a comforter almost, yet as I left the show I felt the same excitement I had known when I was first introduced to their music.
It is difficult to say what will happen to Incubus now. Because the new album comes at such a low point in an impressive career, and many of the members are exploring their own separate solo careers, this could mark the beginning of the end for these legends. Whichever way it goes, they will still be remembered for being an energetic and inspirational force within modern rock music.