Incubus take on the U.S. with Jimmy Eat World and Judah & the Lion in tow
Coming to a town near you: Tour 8
Cascading the states with new politically charged lyrics and melodies are alternative rockers Incubus, with special guests Jimmy Eats World, Judah and the Lion, and Atlas Genius (on select dates) for this years smash hit Tour 8. The wittily named album 8 has a more thematic lyrical styling, surrounding topics of aging, obsolescence, paranoia, and the lackluster of the political stature of the “free” world under new leadership. It aimed for their most politically charged stance to date, at least since their single “Megalomaniac,” landed.
What’s cool about shows like this is that they tend to appeal to a wide array of audiences. Music lovers of all genres will find a song they like performed on this stage, and both Dianna and I have tons of nostalgic feelings about this tour! Up first: Shutter 16’s resident emo kid (a.k.a. me, Sheila, what’s up).
Opening up the show is Nashville’s own Judah & the Lion. There’s a few things I want to address, the first being that this bill is a strange one. Definitely awesome, but strange nonetheless. After some thought, I figured out what makes the bill seemingly odd: it’s Judah & the Lion. They’re the ones who don’t fit on the bill, don’t “match” the alt rock sound of Incubus and Jimmy Eat World. After even more thought, I realized that there isn’t really a bill that would make a ton of sense with Judah & the Lion on it, and that’s an AMAZING thing.
Okay, admittedly, I know that first paragraph sounds sort of rude, but stay with me here! I saw Judah & the Lion open for Twenty One Pilots in both Greensboro AND Charleston a few months ago, having never listened to their music prior. Even if you’ve only heard Twenty One Pilots’ lead single “Stressed Out,” or even “Ride” for that matter, I think you’d agree that Judah & the Lion’s alt/folk/americana punk doesn’t necessarily fit the electro-emo pop of Twenty One Pilots. You still with me?
What I’m trying to say that despite the long hair, despite the folk instruments that will take the stage, and despite the metal-like headbanging, Judah & the Lion will own any stage they play, and set the bar perhaps a bit too high for the following bands. But that’s just one girl’s opinion.
The second thing I’d like to address is that after seeing them two nights in a row, I can promise you, friends, that this band is for real. They love music, they love performing, and they love to mess with the audience lovingly. From covering the emo classic “Mr. Brightside” to shoving a comically tiny stuffed lion into the air mid-set, Judah & the Lion will be headlining these arenas on their own soon enough. Thank goodness. Oh, also, they tend to cover T-Pain’s musical masterpiece, “Booty Wurk” so…
From that point on, I dove head first into some serious nostalgia, feeling somehow cheated of not having experienced Bleed American and Futures when they debuted.
Not long after, the band announced their comeback via Integrity Blues, which created a sense of “finally!” and “thank goodness” and “oh god, what now?” in me, a 24 year old woman who feels everything as amplified as she did at 14. I had grown accustomed to the 2000-2008 version of Jimmy Eat World. What would a 2016 era sound like?
Well, it sounds like the integrity blues. No joke! It’s as honest, as intricate, and as sincere as ever, with the same emo vibes I find comfort in in Bleed American. It was around this time, last April to be exact, that a certain pop queen reminded everyone why the band sat on an emo thrown in the first place. “The Middle” was back and as popular as it was in 2002, which coincided perfectly (almost too perfectly) with their comeback later that year.
After modern alt rock leaves the stage, Incubus will set up shop and show us all what it means to be a band for two plus decades. This is also the point where Sheila’s emo feelings are left behind and I (Dianna) steps in. I thought I’d have Sheila pause her musical memories for a second and interject a bit on some of my favorite memories of the headliner to this tour — Incubus.
It was about time that Incubus put out a new album, the first in five years, that didn’t consist of greatest hits or acoustic sets we’d heard so many times, though done oh so right. On this album, the recording process was swift and organic, leaving some Incubus fans satiated. 8 left some old school fans reeling on account of their precious band evolving. In our humble opinion, 8 is a breath of fresh air laced with a familiar and indicative sound of the Incubus tribe’s ways – heavy drums, flashy ballads, and Chris Kilmore’s advanced scratch-tastic beeps and bloops, accompanied by ladders of expanded notes out of Mike Einzigers fingers with his sick guitar virtuosity. They even teamed up with master scratcher Skrillex on the album to add some cool layers. There is still something left unfinished with the album and my gut feeling is the extension of seeing this album played live.
The Calabasas troop have been doing this gig for 26 years now, and seem to always find a way to get a fresh sound, a hit song [or two], and an awesome line-up to tour with. Last time we visited the guys they were on tour with Deftones. Vocalist Brandon Boyd has launched a unisex jewelry line, many museum openings with his vast array of art, some he’s donated to the Gotham Cares fundraiser benefitting Doctors Without Borders, a solo album The Wild Trapeze, a new table book So the Echo, and much more. The band together have been hosting Incu-nights where they have pop-up acoustic performances debuting some songs they haven’t played live in near 20 years.
Brandon Boyd is a stellar subject to get engulfed vicariously in the life of art, the pursuit of inner peace, and the delectable albeit hippie surfer model figure. A torrid affair with drugs in the earlier years almost ended it all, and as he aged so did his maturity, his love affair with the earth, and a foundation of being a complete tour body. If you follow any of his social media accounts you’ll see his up and down with love, life, and his intense connection with nature that pours out in his art; be it the new album with his lifelong friends, his solo pursuits in music, sculpting, sketching, and painting. It wouldn’t surprise us if he wakes each morning to the cascades of ocean pulses and sea air, barefoot with a surfboard and some silly song he’s humming to appease his audience. But in these precious moments, he decides to divulge his thoughts, to give you a look into an aging hippie who never seems to truly age. And as the theme of honesty continues in his more political moments, he showcased his political thoughts in a recent interview with Forbes:
I did the women’s march downtown, it was one of the most beautiful afternoons I’ve ever spent in my city here. I was so proud of Los Angeles, I was so proud that many people could peacefully gather and walk in the streets in opposition to so much of what the coming administration stands for…
And the music continues….. Now with the new album, there is a tour with an amazing light show, CD quality live sound, and a connection waiting for you on the concert floor. With a vast amount of talent they are bringing with them is another must see element.
The tour started this week and will be heading to a city near you. We will be at the 7/11 Charlotte date, but this tour is one we think if you are searching for any feeling of nostalgia, escapism, or just seeing some downright good damn music live, you should get a ticket, stretch the hammies, and get ready to get shakin’ a tailfeather. Maybe bring a bandana or two – sop up the sweat and wipe out the emo tears too!
Catch this tour: