I was lucky enough to attend two Incubus concerts recently – September 3rd at Jones Beach in NY, and September 9th in Mansfield, MA. These shows were incredible. Both were outdoors on comfortably cool evenings. The wind was weaving through my hair, as I sang along with hundreds and hundreds of other fans. One of my favorite parts was in Mansfield, during “Drive,” when Brandon stepped back from the mic and the band stopped playing to listen to the crowd shout back the lyrics. I never get tired of those moments, when everyone is connected by a single song. That’s my kind of religious experience. These were the type of shows that reminded me not just why I love Incubus, but why I love music in general.
Someone else's surprisingly good quality video of "Drive" from the Mansfield show
When I first started writing this post, it was just supposed to be a review of those shows. But as I put words onto paper (yes, I handwrote a rough draft because I’m old school like that), I quickly realized that a brief summary was not enough to describe how emotional of an experience seeing Incubus is for me. In fact, there are a lot of artists that I love dearly, but none have changed my life the way Incubus has. I actually realized I’d like to go into journalism after reading an article about the band many years ago. I was so jealous of the reporter who got to talk with the band, and then it dawned on me that I could interview brilliant and fascinating people some day too.
|It was actually this issue of YM, which wasn’t exactly the high standard of journalism I’m shooting for, but hey, at least it gave me the idea.|
Then there are the less vital memories that make up my every day life, like the high school German exchange student presenting me with her Incubus poster because it wouldn’t fit in her suitcase home. She promised me if I didn’t take care of Brandon’s picture, she’d “come back and kick my ass.” (Don’t worry Minh, it still hangs on my wall even now, and it is in great condition. Although I have occasionally considered taping a picture of Ben Kenney over Dirk Lance). I remember sitting in my friend Veronika's basement, not caring about the dude in Final Destination 2 trapped in his burning apartment because “Vitamin” was playing in the background. (If you have to die like that, at least be glad you’re dying while good music is playing, amirite?) I remember listening to Light Grenades over and over during my first year of college. The list goes on for pages. And now I can look back on the past couple nights spent with my pal Ali, obsessing over the music and eventually suffering through the inevitable post-show depression together. These songs are my souvenirs of amazing times with friends and hours spent screaming myself hoarse at concerts. I realize now that I grew up with Incubus, and as a result, when I look back on my life thus far, I see the band at every step.
"Wish You Were Here" live is just perfection.
I don’t know that I will ever be able to fully express how much this one band means to me in words. I hope some day I can thank the members in person. Until that day, this little love letter will have to do. Thanks for some great shows, guys. Now hurry up and come back soon before I waste away from withdrawal.