Review: Incubus + Young the Giant + perfect weather = one big party at Tampa's 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre
With the end of summer close at hand, there is nothing better then an evening concert when the weather is just perfect.
On Sunday, Incubus performed at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Ampitheater, and it was just one of those perfect nights. One of those nights that even if things went terrible, at least you had the weather on your side. A handful of concert tailgaters even got their grills and tents going to support this fine day. Flip-flops and tank tops were the theme of the night — oh, and drunk women. That seemed to be a theme too. It must be something in the music.
The turnout for Sunday’s show was mediocre, but still packed a punch. I will give Incubus fans participation points for screaming, fighting and intoxication. I counted two small fights and several ejections; the sheriff’s paddy wagon was in use towards the end of the night. The screaming? Well, that was mostly from the ladies. Wow, can they hit those high notes! I guess that reaction is for Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd, after he removed his shirt mid-set. How come I don’t get that reaction when I go to the beach?
Maybe the carefree mentality came from the “It’s a good night to drink” vibe in the air. Maybe it was the fact that the lawn ticket holders were moved to the main seating area, so that even with a smaller turnout, the crowd was still packed close together. Either way, it felt like a sold-out show on a Friday night.
Incubus fans, did you make it to work Monday?
Incubus sounded great. Boyd's vocal's were right on key, and he seemed to have an action-hero persona on stage. He eventually grabbed a glossy white Gibson, adding to that superhero glow.
The band was solid, and the vinyl mixing from DJ Chris Kilmore was excellent. The large screens panned the stage, catching his hands and showing the technicalities of his art. The drumming, from original member Jose Pasillas, was thick. The drums were facing stage right so the audience could get a better look at this commonly over-looked part of the stage show.
Bassist Ben Kenney didn't take much of the stage while performing, but his educated and artsy look added to the show. Lead guitarist Mike Einziger was also on his mark, ripping his leads and keeping the crowd entertained. His acoustic performance of 11 a.m. was awesome, and gave me a "coffee house" feel. The music was performed and choreographed perfectly with the lighting, which was just amazing. Performance and visuals were both at an impressive level.
Incubus has been on the quieter side of the FM dial since their days of Drive and Morning View. An Incubus best-of release, Moments in Melodies (2009), did not contain any new material for fans. But their seventh album, If Not Now, When?, was released in July, giving fans a new perspective on the five-piece band, since they initiated some experiemental changes within their music.
While hardcore Incubus fans loved the entire show, those “FM dial” fans, who came to hear those FM favorites, may have been yawning at various points in the evening. Incubus did play those favorites from the early days, but like many artists touring with a new release, the crowd seemed to go nuts for those songs they recognized. Incubus opened with Megalomaniac and Wish You Were Here, and 18 songs later left the stage. A three-song encore was demanded by the crowd, during which Pardon Me was finally performed.
Young The Giant opened the show, and while I really enjoyed their set, overall, I am not sure the Tampa crowd had much background on this five-peice band from Irvine, Calif. I wouldn’t really classify YTG and Incubus in the same musical genre, and maybe that was part of the problem with the crowd response. YTG has a more indie feel, while Incubus has traditionally been classified as mainstream radio rock. I think this band has a great future ahead of them, and they already have the nod from Hollywood, having had songs played on American Idol, with live performances on the VMAs and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Overall, the evening was a good time. I am sure promoters would have liked a better turnout, but I don’t think fans noticed once the music started. Again, the weather was perfect and the sound was great. The visuals from the large LED screens added so much to the show, and the stage lights for Incubus were something Pink Floyd fans would enjoy.
And to all of you hung-over Incubus fans, get back to work. The economy needs you!
-- Review/photos by Andrew Carlton, tbt*
Wish You Were Here
If Not Now, When?
In The Company of Wolves
A Kiss to Send Us Off
Nice to Know You