Cali-based, Incubus, rocks Riot Fest Sunday headline spot.

No Wish Needed, I Was There with Incubus

It only took 19 years since first hearing "Drive," but this past Sunday evening I managed to see Incubus at the close of Riot Fest in Chicago's Douglas Park.

Michael Kocourek

What you'll find with the California-based band is a carefully calculated performance to sound perfection. Brandon Boyd (lead vocals) voice sounded as clear as a bell, to any studio recorded song the group produced over these last 19 years, since "Make Yourself" was released. In fact, Boyd is incredibly precise in his distance of the microphone from his mouth, as his voice permeates through the speakers to such a clear and astounding level. This was one detail I'm not sure many would pick up on, and one that deserves such recognition.

The stage had an excited and energized crowd, following the Alkaline Trio performance two stages over. It wouldn't be fair to write this without a shout out to AT for their jam-filed show. Incubus came to the scene, the crowd roared, and we were greeted with "Privilege." This song has 444 total plays, according to and it goes to no surprise, as it's an incredible opener for the band.

Fans were also delighted to the sounds of "Megalomaniac," "Pardon Me," "Love Hurts," "Nice to Know You," and two clever outros of "Are You In" with a "Gin N Juice" outro, and "Wish You Were Here" focusing on a Pink Floyd outro – which would end up being my favorite song of the evening. From the guitar portions, DJ scratching, harmonies, and LED visuals, there isn't one aspect of this show to complain about.

Let's rewind about two hours before this show, real quick. A band by the name of Clutch played on the same stage, and their sound was loud and clear. In fact, their volume was just right. Could it be my own fault for positioning myself on the stage-left side for this show? That's definitely a possibility. I'm not convinced, however. I guess that Incubus purposely did not blast their sound to drain out other integral parts of their show – guitar, drums, bass, scratching, and especially vocals. Too often today, we see bands blast the crap out of the instruments with a suffering vocal clarity. This would be the opposite, which has both pros and cons.

On the pros, you get clear sound, less distortion, and more harmonization of all musical elements. As for the cons, there's a craving for more volume, wondering if the position you're in is a shit spot, and hearing too many conversations around you over the music. Like I said, all checks and balances.

In closing, an Incubus show, especially with the debut of their newest album "Incubus 8," is everything you would hope it could be – that being you're a fan of the group. Even if you're not a super fan, there are songs to be heard that evoke those old memories of your younger years. So keeping those notes in mind, "are you in" for the next Incubus show?

Report this Content

More on Odyssey

Facebook Comments