Incubus, The Bravery, Simon Dawes
The Lawn at White River State Park
Thursday, July 26
It was Saturday night that Incubus and The Bravery rocked the Lawn at White River State Park. The setting was perfect: cool and dry with clear skies. The evening started with Malibu band Simon Dawes. If you made it to the show, you know this because they reminded us before, after and in between every sad song (all of them), alongside a plug for their merch (and their new album). In case you're wondering, the name doesn't actually mean anything.
Next came NYC disco rock group The Bravery, who started their tour with Incubus at The Lawn. As frequent comparisons to The Killers suggest, the boys delivered a retro dance rock sound in the vein of the aforementioned and Bloc Party. Besides getting the crowd into their most popular song, “Honest Mistake,” they also were well received when they played a new one called “The Dandy Rock,” as well as their punk rock song “Every Word is a Knife in My Ear.”
And then anticipation set in, but only for a few minutes. I'd never seen Incubus live, but I’ve heard plenty of stories. For some reason, I expected to be instantly surrounded by a muddy pit of hardcore fans slopping around in front of the stage. Of course, that didn't happen, as the venue is set up to make that impossible with the whole front of the stage surrounded by secured, reserved seating. The sentiment remained.
In just a matter of a set change, the sun disappeared, the nearly full moon rose and “Quicksand” resounded from the stage. Incubus started the set off as such and took the audience on a journey back and forth through their musical past … from 1997's “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” to the most recent “Light Grenades” and back again. Although they included no songs from their 1995 debut, “Fungus Amungus,” they made up for it with a nice jam of “Pistola,” a new song called “Punch Drunk” and a cover of Ben E. King's classic “Stand By Me,” which Simon Dawes (that's the name of the first band, if you didn't catch it) also played along on.
As the encore faded, the audience grew excited as Mike Enziger began plucking the most beautiful piece they've written. “Aqueous Transmission” would be the last song of the evening, and there's no way it could have ended better. Well, actually, there is one way, but alas, Brandon Boyd kept his shirt on the entire time.