Gig Review by Chloe Gynne

Incubus

Perhaps it’s the summer heat outside, or maybe the fact that Incubus were due onstage half an hour ago, but Hammersmith Apollo is bubbling with excitement. It has been a number of years since the Californian band were at the height of their popularity, but tonight their return is more than welcome. It’s been three years since they performed in London, and the crowd, full of hardcore fans and nostalgic 20-somethings, are more than up for it.

It takes thirty seconds for the entire venue to start singing along to the band’s powerful rendition of ‘Wish You Were Here’, drowning out Brandon Boyd’s vocals. While ‘Anna Molly’ is met with equal joy, the setlist often dips with the inclusion of more self-indulgent tracks. ‘Adolescents’ and ‘In The Company Of Wolves’, both from 2011 album ‘If Not Now, When?’ see frontman Brandon Boyd air drumming while the crowd remain still, and for a moment, the band lose their momentum.

Thankfully, new tracks from the first half of the ‘Trust Fall’ EP have the opposite effect. Superfans sing and dance to ‘Absolution Calling’ as if they’ve known these songs as long as their beloved ‘Morning View’ hits. Of course, those hits are the ones with the biggest cheers; ‘Are You In’ and ‘Nice To Know You’ soundtracked this audience’s teen years and the singalong is heartfelt and sentimental, despite the loud, metal crunch of Mike Einziger’s guitar in the background.

Incubus

Likewise, tracks from 2004 album ‘A Crow Left Of The Murder’ are lapped up by tonight’s crowd. Boyd’s velvet vocals are given the spotlight for ‘Here In My Room’, as he kneels to sing to the front row. ‘Sick Sad Little World’ is percussive and pitch perfect, working the crowd into a frenzy. A rare airing of ‘Agoraphobia’ makes the show truly special, and all issues with set times and song choices suddenly seem irrelevant. The circle pits finally open up.

Closing with ‘Megalomania’, there isn’t a single person in this crowd who isn’t spitting the lyrics of the chorus back to the band. Boyd even slips in a few lines from Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ as the song comes to an end.

The encore is high-energy, to say the least. The perfect trio of songs- chart-topper ‘Drive’ followed by fan favourite ‘Dig’, ending with ‘A Crow Left Of The Murder’- allow for one final moment of nostalgia, as Boyd commands the crowd without barely uttering a word to them. He thanks the fans a dozen times, but says little more than that; instead, they pack in as many songs as possible, and play them all with passion.

As the band quietly make their way offstage, they seem humbled by the response tonight. Despite a rocky start, the band manages to pull it back, pleasing fans with a solid setlist and consistent musicianship. The new tracks blend well into old favourites, and gives promise that the second half of the ‘Trust Fall’ EP will be one to watch out for. A stellar set.

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