Talent & Humility, Redux
I originally posted this after seeing Incubus in Dallas over Labor Day weekend 2007. Last night I saw them again at the same venue, and it was another amazing show. The major difference is that this time there were a lot more people, the show was more polished, and I had to sit farther away. The experience was still pretty amazing, and most of what I thought after the last concert still applies. One addition, though: it’s incredible how a talented band that falls outside of the mainstream can, over time, redefine what “mainstream” means. Even two years ago it seemed they were just on the outside, but looking at the type of people that were at the show last night—from wealthy, middle aged, and business casual to twenty-something slackers in graphic tees and skinny jeans—they’ve made a place for themselves well inside the mainstream.
Incubus is my favorite band. I’ve been listening to them for 7 or 8 years, and they just keep getting better. They’re sound is varying and original, the lyrics are deep (not in a “you are beautiful, no matter what they say” kind of way, but the real deal), and somehow they keep finding new sounds.
When I was in Europe in 2002 they toured with 311 and Hoobastank, and I had a chance to get tickets to the show in Amsterdam, but no one in my group would go with me (I’m not about to go see a rock concert in Amsterdam by myself). Then, in 2004 I had a chance to get tickets to the A Crow Left of the Murder tour stop in Dallas, but didn’t have a ride in from the desert. Then when the small venue tour tickets went on sale for January, I was at my computer on Ticketmaster.com for them to go on sale at 10am…and you know what? Sold out within a few minutes. So when my wife found out that they were touring again this year, we snapped up tickets right away, and over Labor Day weekend we drove down to Dallas with a friend and went to the concert at the
Smirnoff Music Centre Superpages.com Center.
This is a band that is immensely talented. They’re lyrics employ imagery that is more similar to good poetry then most pop or rock music. The sound and style is not 100% original, but neither is it a copy. The best thing about the music is that they don’t sound like anyone else…they are totally distinctive, without relying on one type of sound like a lot of other bands.
Standing at the concert I was in awe. Usually when you listen to great music, you can detach yourself from the humanity of the writer. But when you’re standing there, 200 feet away while 15,000 people sing along (including you), you become fully aware of the fact that these are real people. Real human people produced this music. Real people wrote these words. Real people have heard millions of others sing along to their creation. What did I learn that day? Incubus concerts are where pride goes to die.