Wednesday was a good night for 90’s alternative music at Bold Sphere Champion’s Square. Formed in 1993, Jimmy Eat World from Arizona opened up for Incubus from California, who began making music in 1991. They came to New Orleans to promote their new record, 8.
Incubus got together in Calabasas, California, formed by vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas. They added a DJ and a bass player to their lineup, DJ Lyfe and Alex Katunich, who were both eventually replaced by bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Kilmore. Kenney and Kilmore both play keyboards as well. Incubus claimed commercial success in 1999 when they released their, now platinum, album Make Yourself, which contained the hit singles “Drive” and “Pardon Me.” 2001’s Morning View also achieved large recognition along with their Billboard No. 1 record, Light Grenades. After a year-long hiatus in 2008, they recorded If Not Now, When? and now they’ve just released their 8th studio album titled 8.
Incubus started the night with a track from the new record, “Glitterbomb,” followed with “Circles” off of Morning View, and then another new track, “Nimble Bastard.” The setlist reflected this showcase of newer tunes with an added splash of classics. The band played in front of a giant circular monitor that displayed psychedelic imagery and filtered video footage of their live performance. Frontman Boyd slowly removed more and more articles of clothing throughout the concert, which had all the girls swooning. Apart from many songs from 8, Incubus played all of their most well-known songs including “Pardon Me” and “Drive,” as well as “Dig,” “Nice to Know You,” and “Wish You Were Here,” which they flourished with a rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” as an outro.
The final song of Incubus’ setlist was “Warning” from Morning View. By this time, Boyd was only sporting the pants that he came out in. A top-notch frontman, he is, with his flowing hair and superbly-executed vocals. In fact, the whole band is full of talent. Each member is featured equally and does his part with skill. Kenney provided a solid bass backbone and notably precise vocal harmonies with Boyd, Kilmore scratched the turntables to perfection, Einziger’s fretwork and tones were on point, and Pasillas didn’t miss a beat. When they came back for the encore, they brought with them “one of their favorite singers,” Solange Knowles, sister of Beyoncé. She sang leads as a duet with Boyd for the Incubus song “Aqueous Transmission.” This surprise threw the crowd through a loop and it showed with their “whoops.” However, her vocal delivery was at best OK. She sang on the lower octave of the harmony with Boyd and tried her hand at some haphazard improvising. It could have been better. Otherwise, it was a stellar end to a night of nostalgic fun.