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Concert Reviews:
Incubus Makes Fans' Wait Pay Off

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, July 27, 2007

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INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- Delayed gratification finally arrived on Thursday night at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.

Modern rockers Incubus, who had to cancel a sold-out February show at Detroit's State Theatre due to frontman Brandon Boyd illness, finally hit town, making good to the fans who had been waiting -- as well as to the many more who were able to attend at the larger venue -- with 90 minutes of crowd favorites as well as a healthy sampling of the quintet's latest album, 2006's "Light Grenades."

Incubus has the distinction of playing at the OZZFest, Lollapalooza and Moby's short-lived Area tours, and Thursday's 17-song set was fitting display of the style-straddling that's responsible for the group's rarefied, long-term standing near the top of the alt.rock world. There were plenty of pop hit moments such as "Wish You Were Here," "Anna-Molly," "Love Hurts," "Drive," the current single "Oil and Water" and the anthemic "Dig," arguably the best song in the band's current catalog. But each of those songs come from a sophisticated, muso kind of sensibility, which was displayed even further on dynamically shifting fare such as "Pistola," "Vitamin," "Nebula," the Eastern-tinged "Aqueaus Transmission" and particularly on an extended rendition of "Sick Sad World," on which each of the instrumentalists stretched out with jam band exuberance.

Incubus smartly brought things back to Earth right after that, with a faithful cover of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" on which the group as joined by two members of the opening act, Simon Dawes.

Good song groupings gave the show a careful ebb-and-flow pace, accented by a mobile light rig that eschewed pyrotechnic drama for moody washes of color. And while Boyd is one of the alt world's acknowledge hunks, he doesn't sell it too hard, instead favoring an understated performance that genuinely focuses on his singing.

And this time through is voice held, which made the show well worth the wait.

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