I love it when bands go on tour to celebrate milestone anniversaries. Especially when it’s one of the bands that played a part in a fundamental stage of development for an entire generation. It’s almost like they’re giving the gift of time travel for so many to go back to when we had fewer responsibilities and some of the best, carefree times of our lives.
Incubus’ 1999 album Make Yourself catapulted them to super stardom and introduced the masses to their distinctive excellence. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of it’s release, the band performed the album in it’s entirety from front to back.
The sold out show’s opener, Le Butcherettes, warmed up the crowd with an avant garde and barbarous set. The band’s front woman, Teri Gender Bender, captivated the crowd with her peculiarly melodic flow, ironfisted screams, and outre physical presentation.
It is doubtful that the vast majority of the crowd was familiar with the group, but some may not have realized that they nearly all hold ties to more well-known artists having toured with The Flaming Lips, Deftones, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Lead singer and keyboardist, Terri Gender Bender, fronts another band alongside Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover (Melvins) and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (The Mars Volta) called Crystal Fairy.
On bass, guitar, and synths are brothers, Marfred Rodriguez-Lopez and Riko Rodriguez-Lopez, brothers to Omar Rodriguez-Lopez mentioned above.
Their set may not have paired well with the forthcoming headliner due to glaring differences in sound and vibe, but it was interesting at very least and exposed fans of mainstream pop/rock to something very dynamic.
The moment has come for 3,100 fans who have waited for this for two decades.
The lights went down, the deafening roar of the cheers went up, the sound of Brandon Boyd’s voice boomed throughout the room, and a movie screen at the rear of the stage illuminated with the words “BRANDON BOYD: We had been at it when we wrote ‘Make Yourself’…”. It was the beginning of a seven minute video, briefly chronicling the band’s past 20 years. This ignited the flame within the band’s most dedicated fans, but would hold no bearing to what was in store for them.
At the emotion-evoking end of the film, the screen fades to black. You can hardly see your hand in front of your face. You’re left relying on your other senses while you froze in your 1 x 1 square foot of earth, holding your breath and awaiting the strike of the first chord.
Then, there it was.
As expected and more than wildly received, Incubus hits it hard with Privilege, the opening track to the celebrated album. After performing Out From Under, the last track off of the acclaimed album, they gifted the audience with a few more songs including a new one called Into The Summer, which fans already seemed to know well enough to sing along with every word as though it was already on heavy radio rotation. The set wrapped with Megalomaniac, but fans had not had their fill. They wanted more and they got more.
After the band exited the stage amid the end of their regular set, the lights went down but the interior of the beautifully ornate Stifel Theatre was brightly illuminated by smartphone flashlights. Like, big time. As spectacular as it was, they’ll never be lighters. *shrugs*
The band returned to the stage shortly thereafter for a two-song encore and left fans with their epic hit Wish You Were Here. Although it was predictable, it was an explosive finale to an astounding evening.
Setlist: Incubus: 20 Years of Make Yourself & Beyond
- Nowhere Fast
- The Warmth
- When It Comes
- Make Yourself
- Battlestar Scralatchtica
- I Miss You
- Pardon Me
- Out From Under
14. Into the Summer
15. Sick Sad Little World
17. State of the Art
20. Wish You Were Here