Incubus at Comerica Theatre, 10/5/11

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Comerica Theatre
October 5, 2011

For some fans an Incubus show may be all about hearing their favorite band's heavier tracks from back in the day, but for others it's about enjoying the band's entire collection.

While the new album If Not Now, When? sounds sort of like a sequel to Boyd's solo album, last night all five band members generously shared the spotlight. Guitarist Mike Einziger performed a beautiful acoustic solo during "Talk Shows on Mute;" Jose Pasillas was deeply concentrated on his drum kit; Chris Kilmore mixed and scratched with ease; and Ben Kenny worked his bass to make all sorts of signature Incubus sounds.

Just about every song sounded exactly like it does on the records, which made for an impressive performance. Brandon kept it classy by using an old school Shure 55s-style mic.

Incubus threw the crowd for a loop when "Dig" was remixed and played with a slower tempo, and Brandon toned part of it down in a lower key.

The whole band seemed to love the energy that reverberated between them and the crowd, which may have been what motivated them to play such a great show. The quality of frontman Brandon Boyd's vocal projection was stunning.

To the extreme delight of every girl in the theatre, Brandon unbuttoned his shirt when the band started playing "Circles," and by the time they got around to "A Kiss to Send Us Off," he had taken it off completely.

When Boyd wasn't busy captivating the audience with his abs or his voice, he was busy dancing and twirling about like he was caught up in a slow motion explosion. He's a ringmaster of rock. Or perhaps he thinks he's some sort of rock and roll Jesus. Either way, he effortlessly commanded everyone's attention, and it made for a fantastic show.

Critic's notebook:

Personal bias: I've been a big of Incubus for a few years, which is largely due to the fact that '90s alternative rock is one of my favorite genres.

The crowd: Lots and lots of bro-dogs. The guy-to-girl ratio was nearly the same as you would find at a 311 concert, except Incubus apparently attracts prettier girls.

Overheard: "That was...WOO!" -- the guy next to us whose only word was "woo." Now that's dedication. Also: "I feel like this is one soft rock song away from being a Christian rock concert." -- the hot guy behind me

Random notebook dump: I noticed that Young the Giant has successfully made a smooth transition from playing small gigs to big theatres. What I saw of their set last night was excellent.

Set list:
Wish You Were Here
Anna Molly
Promises, Promises
If Not Now, When?
A Certain Shade of Green
In the Company of Wolves
Defiance (acoustic)
Talk Shows on Mute (acoustic)
The Warmth
A Kiss to Send Us Off
Nice To Know You

Pardon Me
Tomorrow's Food

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