Some concerts, you just go for the hits. Some, you go for the singalongs. Some, you go because everyone else seems to be going and you don't want to be left out.
Then there are concerts by bands like Incubus, where you go just because you know darn well that it’s going to be one heck of a rock concert.
With 2,400 fans packing KL Live on Tuesday night, it was clear that Malaysians' enthusiasm for Incubus has not waned despite this being the fourth show it's played here since its first in 2004.
Comprising vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, drummer Jose Pasillas, bassist Ben Kenney and turntablist Chris Kilmore, the band's live performances seems to have matured and been fine-tuned over the years, resulting in a show that was polished and slick, but still jam-packed with raw, unbridled rock spirit.
Kicking off at 9pm sharp with Love In A Time Of Surveillance from its latest album 8 before launching into Warning from 2011's Morning View, Boyd and company wisely chose to alternate between new songs and old hits throughout the show, making for a fairly tight setlist with hardly a dull moment.
Drive, Pardon Me, Talk Shows On Mute, Megalomaniac, Sick Sad Little World, Anna Molly, Wish You Were Here (which ended with a snippet of Pink Floyd’s song of the same title), and I Miss You – Incubus did not disappoint those who came to rock to their classic hits. The fact that newer songs like No Fun, Glitterbomb and Nimble Bastard were good enough to stand alongside these classic rock hits is testament to the consistent quality of the band's musical output.
This was a concert that truly sets the band apart as masters of live shows, and Boyd as one of rock's best frontmen. Boyd's energetic performance (culminating in the crowd-pleasing losing of his shirt) set the tone for the high octane set, and there was no shortage of energy from the rest of the band members either. There was no mucking about with acoustic sets or gimmicky attempts at crowd interaction.
In fact, you hardly had any room to breathe, as the band launched into song after song with minimal fuss or crowd banter.
All good things have to come to an end, however, and Incubus closed the two-hour-long show with its biggest hit Drive, prompting a massive singalong in the process, and finally, The Warmth, from Make Yourself. But long after the house lights had come on, you could still feel the buzz and excitement throughout KL Live over what has been one of 2018's best live shows so far. And it's only February.
This may have been Incubus' fourth show in Malaysia, but there is no doubt that it would be very much welcomed here again in the future. For whatever tomorrow brings, Malaysians will be there with open arms and open eyes.
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