Three consistent decades is a length of time of that very few bands can survive for and reach, but Californian alternative rockers Incubus aren’t far from that impressive milestone now.
Now eight albums deep, having released the aptly titled ‘8’ last year, their setlist can easily be packed to the brim with fan favourites and some fresh cuts to keep things refreshing even this far into their lifespan.
However, opening up for the Manchester date of this run is Melbourne based new kid on the block Ecca Vandal , who holds the confident swagger of M.I.A. with the visceral and raw nature of punk rock favourites Rancid.
She effortlessly skips across genres through her short time on stage, fluidly skimming across rock, R&B and subtle hints of funk within the space of a few mere seconds and, with a powerful voice to boot, there’s bright potential for the up-and-comer.
Taking the helm shortly after come the main act of the night, Incubus , and pretty early on they make it evident that this isn’t their normal by-the-books set. Straight from opener ‘Privilege’, the band begins their splicing of other popular tracks into the mix to keep everyone on their toes, shoving in a short snippet of the main hook from ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’ by Panjabi MC into its bridge.
Their weaving of other popular tracks to become a part of their own doesn’t stop there either, injecting a brief cover of ‘Gin And Juice’ by Snoop Dogg to close off their hit ‘Are You In?’ and, just before we move onto the band’s encore, they meld together the massive sing-along anthem of ‘Wish You Were Here’ with Pink Floyd‘s song of the same name. It all flows together surprisingly well.
Along with these rehashed takes and reworkings, it’s the crowning moments of Incubus‘ career that also happen to be the crowning moments of the set. The one-two of ‘Anna Molly’ and ‘Megalomaniac’ are adrenaline pumping, especially for the fans stood mere feet from the front of the stage, and both ‘Drive’ and ‘Pardon Me’ are tracks that could easily suck in anyone into their fanbase, and frontman Brandon Boyd‘s voice proves its impeccable form on these and indeed set closer, ‘A Crow Left Of The Murder’.
Though Incubus may no longer be in the peak moments of their career, there’s a lot to say for a band who manage to keep creative output to a high quality, and ensure that set of standards flows through into their live set all these years later.
You can check out our full photo gallery from the show here.