Thursday, September 12, 2002
Like the weather on Tuesday night, Incubus was crisp but a little chilly.
The platinum-selling rock act played to a packed house at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, delivering 90 minutes that epitomized its L.A. stew of influences ï¿½ from hard rock to hip-hop, Latin, funk and soul.
Delivering favorites such as "Wish You Were Here," "Drive" and "The Warmth," the group gave the crowd what it was there for: emotional, moody tunes and plenty of poster-boy singer Brandon Boyd. The lean frontman possesses one of the purest voices in modern rock, and his stage poses whipped the predominantly young female crowd into a tizzy.
This was achieved despite the fact that the band members looked as if they were road weary ... at times on autopilot. While the performances were impeccable ï¿½ not a missed note the whole night ï¿½ there was a tangible lack of "connection." Little attempt at a connection was made with the audience (which was hanging on every syllable from Boyd, anyway) and virtually none whatsoever between members.
The five players barely made eye contact or acknowledged one another the entire show.
Only during an acoustic interlude where Boyd and guitarist Mike Einziger sat on a couch together was there any interaction. Here, the pair went into impromptu covers of Lionel Richie's "Hello" and Hall & Oates' "Maneater," and for a brief moment they seemed to truly be enjoying the experience.
Musically, however, all was well with Incubus. Ambitious instrumentation combined with technical expertise brought depth to the band's pop-length material. And even the turntable/sample contributions by DJ Kilmore (particularly on "Mexico") added texture rather than clutter to the compositions.