Incubus Comcast Center Mansfield MA 9/9 Review and Photos

Written by Cassandra Paiva, photos by Phil DeSimone (FromThePhotoPit.com)

It was a night full of little twists as I prepared to watch Incubus take the stage at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA on September 9 as part of their If Not Now, When? tour.

Twists such as meeting up with my former intern friends to get into the Young the Giant meet and greet (only 20 feet away from Incubus, damnit!), the weather being pretty much perfect (which is usually unlikely when I go to shows at this venue), and most importantly a few twists in Incubus’ set, such as a mini acoustic set and a different spin on one of their Monuments and Melodies singles.

Starting off the evening, Young the Giant took the stage. Having seen them perform as the headliners before, I knew the amount of energy they packed into their sets (think, crowd rushing the stage for a massive dance party during “My Body”). While their set was pretty solid, the crowd wasn’t paying full attention, which is understandable since the majority of the audience hadn’t entered and the ones who had were just settling in to their seats. Considerably, that’s one of the downfalls of the venue, the crowd can enter when they desire and aren’t ‘forced’ to watch the opener.

But despite the less than half attendance, Young the Giant made it count as they played to the people who were watching, as lead singer Sameer Gadhia beat his tambourine against François Comtois’s cymbal and guitarists Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata danced behind.

The band’s biggest hits of the night were rightly enough, second single “Cough Syrup” which brought about a small sing a long, and obvious crowd pleaser “My Body” which sparked some dancing, jumping, singing and many cheers as it ended the almost 45 minute set.

A few fans in the front called to Gadhia, who threw picks and a crumpled setlist, and Comtois threw his drumsticks. The slightly buzzed man next to me saw that I knew a few songs, and asked me who the band was and where they were from, showing interest as he stated that he thought they were good. As the old saying goes, to gain even just one fan makes everything worth it.

As intermission brought more and more people in, there was nothing but positive signs that the crowd would come alive for Incubus. A ladder was thrown down, and the audience cheered as staff members climbed to the light scaffold. As minute a detail this was, the cheering showed signs of life and brewing excitement, which is a fundamental factor for a great show.

Also, probably unnoticed by many as it was difficult to read, Incubus’ twitter feed was playing on the screens beside the stage.

At about 8:30, the crowd starting screaming as Incubus took the stage and played the first few chords of “Megalomaniac.” Increasing the energy, Brandon Boyd held the mic stand out to the audience in a crowd only sing a long to “step down, step down.”

Keeping the pacing and interaction, “Wish You Were Here” followed and half way through, Boyd stepped away from the mic with his hands in prayer formation to show his appreciation to the crowd.

If Not Now, When? single “Adolescents” was next and for some reason the sound was a little sketchy, as the mic started to pop and feedback. Despite that, the energy remained and led into “Anna Molly” where there was finally some fist pumping and head banging from the crowd.

The next string of songs you could call the lull of the show. “Promises, Promises” (my favorite new single) started to lose attention, maybe because fans weren’t as familiar with it. The couple in front of me (who were already annoying as it was, not even singing a long to “Anna Molly”) sat down, and a few others followed suit. Really slow track, “If Not Now, When?” brought along some more audio issues as the mic popped and the keyboard was extremely loud almost drowning the vocals. However, the audience loved Boyd’s extended note and guitar playing.

Half way through the song, “Privilege” ended the lull as Boyd sang to a specific part of the audience in front and concluded with a short “thanks boys and girls.”

Previously unseen from the audience, “Consequence” started a mosh pit as DJ Kilmore mixed it up and Boyd jumped around. A jazzy jam concluded and led into “Are You In?” where the mix master continued and Jose Pasillas laid down a steady beat. The “oohs” started a “Riders of the Storm” cover which transitioned to the end of the song and the intro of “Vitamin.” The lights were set to a rain down effect as Boyd played the drums.

Another small lull proceeded, as “In the Company of Wolves” strummed along with a long instrumental. The lights lowered as Boyd got spiritual as he sang “I was alive, I think for the first time.”

The band set up for their mini surprise, a short acoustic set where Boyd introduced Michael Einziger who sat in a chair and started the chords of “Defiance.” Big, pink circle lights descended and Boyd introduced Ben Kenney for the acoustic version of “Paper Shoes,” which featured a guitar solo full of finger picking goodness.

Animal calls and a steady drumbeat kicked off crowd pleaser “The Warmth.” The group standing next to me was really getting into this song, singing a long and dancing like crazy, as was the majority of the crowd. Feeling the warmth, Boyd took his shirt off for “A Crow Left of the Murder” as he crooned “Do you get it yet?”

A recognizable bass riff started, however it was a lot lower than the original version of the song. Here’s the twist I mentioned earlier, an alternate version of “Dig” with basically no melody but a heavier tone. Being most excited for them to play this song, I was a little disappointed at the diluted version, but it allowed for grooving out and into the massive sing a long to “Drive.”

An Incubus classic, the crowd was extremely involved singing and jumping and fist pumping. This continued into “Switchblade” where the audience seemed a little less familiar, but just as energized. The last song of the set, “Nice to Know You” started with Boyd ska-ing and DJ Kilmore mixing.

After the main set ended, one of the most amazing things occurred. The crowd came together in cheers and banged the seats and held up lighters calling the band back. Now, I’ve seen lighters held high during ballads, but never for an encore, so that was a pretty awesome thing to witness.

Incubus then delivered, coming back with “Pardon Me” where everyone went crazy in excitement. “Tomorrow’s Food” ended the show at around 10:15, featuring a wacked out slideshow that played images of depression era children growing up, food processes, and metamorphosis. The audience seemed confused, if not a little disgusted.

In summary, the show was full of energy from the band, if only the crowd could have maintained the same energy levels throughout. Later in the night, Boyd tweeted, “Oh man. Mass. You all really did it this time, didn’t you. That was my favorite show I think we’ve ever had here! @IncubusBand” To conclude, I rate shows on if I would see the band again, and after this show, I would see Incubus again!

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