Appreciating The Evolution of Incubus – Concert Countdown

It’s despicable, it’s wrong, and it’s gutless… that I haven’t seen either of my favorite bands live in concert. Of course, that will change this month, when I Incubus perform on August 19, in Atlanta, as part of the Honda Civic Tour. To get myself pumped for a concert, I always like to listen through their discography in the couple of weeks preceding the show. For the upcoming Incubus concert, that means listening to Incubus’s older work (which I’m less familiar with) and seeing if what I’ve heard countless times–“I really like the old Incubus stuff”– is agreeable.

Released way back in 1995, Incubus’s first studio album, Fungus Amongus is reminiscent of some early Red Hot Chili Pepper albums (my other favorite band). As such, Brandon Boyd has explicitly credited the Chili Peppers as being a key influence for his band. Listening through the album, the funk stood out more so than other genres, but the jazz, rap, and heavy metal were also present and worked nicely together in “Deep Inside.” I fully intend to deep dive this album and get the whole Incubus picture before the concert.

S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is certainly very different from their most recent album, If Not Now, When?. Considering S.C.I.E.N.C.E. came out nearly a decade and a half prior, it’s not too surprising to see a band grow and evolve a good deal over that time. The blend of techno, jazz, and metal is pretty obvious and makes me think of the concept coined by Linkin Park, “Hybrid Theory”–bringing together an eclectic group of talented musicians with different styles and tastes to create a sound that is more powerful than any singular genre in the music. It certainly makes the pairing of Linkin Park and Incubus in the Honda Civic Tour seem fitting. Sailing Catamarans Is Every Nautical Captain’s Ecstacy is a pretty funny acronym too.

So, after looking at their entire discography chronologically and holistically, I can understand why some may only like their older music, because it markedly different from the smoother softer sound that appeared on Light Grenades and became more pervasive on If Not Now, When?. While different, I love both styles and respect the band’s evolution

What pre-Make Yourself song is your favorite? What must I listen to before I see them live?

Here are some of the Incubus songs I hope to hear live from the latter albums I know and love them for, starting with my favorite, Make Yourself, and progressing in chronological order.

Make Yourself (1999)
Top Tracks:

  • “The Warmth”
  • “Clean”
  • “Stellar”
  • “When It Comes”
  • “Drive”

Morning View (2001)
Top Tracks:

  • “Under My Umbrella”
  • “Wish you Were Here”
  • “Circles”

A Crow Left of the Murder (2004)
Top Tracks:

  • “Megalomaniac”
  • “A Crow Left Of A Murder”
  • “Beware! Criminal”

Light Grenades (2006)
Top Tracks:

  • “Dig”
  • “Anna Molly”
  • “Love Hurts”

If Not Now, When? (2011)
Top Tracks:

  • “Promises, Promises”
  • “Adolescents”
  • “If Not Now, When?”

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