Review: Incubus, Līve, live at Wolfbrook

10:53 am on 5 April 2024
Incubus, Live, live at Wolfbrook

Incubus, Live, live at Wolfbrook Photo: Supplied

By Dan Buchanan

Knowing in advance this gig was going to be great (third time seeing Incubus, first time for Līve) I went in early with the brother TK and his lady Casey to get a good spot and I'm seriously glad I did.

Opening Tauranga two-piece Midwave Breaks were for me, a revelation. I hadn't heard of them before tonight and upon doing so was furiously Googling them to find out more. An unbelievable sonic wall coming from a guitarist/drummer duo. Their songs were exceptionally catchy and technically difficult especially their covers of Shapeshifter classic 'In Colour' and Eight singalong 'Moments Gone'. Though is it still a cover if you wrote it? More on that later.

Speaking of covers. There must've been something in the water at Wolfbrook Arena. Incubus covered Portishead's 'Glory Box', Bowie's 'Let's Dance', The Beatles' 'Come Together' and through fan favourite 'Are You In' segued nicely into The Doors' 'Riders on the Storm'. Singer Brandon Boyd sensing the amusement of the crowd commented "we mostly play our songs, we play others songs too. It's fun!"

Incubus, Live, live at Wolfbrook

Incubus, Live, live at Wolfbrook Photo: Supplied

Drummer José Pasillas and current bassist Nicole Row anchored the bands chug giving DJ Chris Kilmore and guitar wizard Mike Einziger space to cast musical spells while Brandon danced and swayed and did what great frontmen do best. The band dazzled through their best known tunes - 'Nice To Know You', 'Pardon Me', 'Circles', 'Anna Molly', 'Echo' and 'Wish You Were Here'. Alas no segue into a cover of Pink Floyd's classic of the same name..

Over to Līve to continue the covers theme then. Current lineup consists of only one founding member, singer/guitarist Ed Kowalczyk whose vocals are synonymous with the band's sound. Tearing into three tracks from acclaimed third album Throwing Copper we heard 'Hold Me Up', 'All Over You' and 'Selling The Drama' and then 'Freaks' from album Secret Samadhi before picking from other albums for tracks like 'Pain Lies On The Riverside' and 'Dolphin's Cry'. Ed's voice was true to the recordings hitting each line and note with subtle change to assure you he wasn't in fact lip syncing. With so many cranking tunes in a row the tempo came down for a couple of slower songs like 'Turn My Head'.

Just when you wondered if they were going to get away with it, Ed announced a cover. Hooray! A hat trick! 'Leave The Radio On' by Goose Blackstone. Ed jokes with the band "have you guys met him?". After a little post concert internet digging it turns out that Goose Blackstone might be a pseudonym for Ed. So I'll ask again, is it still a cover if you wrote it?

Finally rounding out the show was heavily riffed 'Lakini's Juice' and then encores of 'I Alone' and 'Lightning Crashes' to finish. Great to tick Līve off the list of bands I wished I'd seen. And after all this talk of covers I went home and got under my own for a much needed old man beauty sleep.

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