Live review

Apollo, Manchester : 18.1.2002

You don't often get line-ups of this quality: Rising stars Hoobastank, rap/rock pioneers 311 and flavour of the month Incubus . . . this should be good.
    Hoobastank are the revelation tonight: Their half-hour set takes a handful of tracks from their new album, and transforms them into something truly great. A very impressive set from a band which obviously has a very bright future.
    311 finally have a profile in the UK, after way too many years. The crowd warm to them as they cross between rock, rap and reggae with finesse, concentrating on current album From Chaos, but dropping in old favourites like Flowing and All Mixed Up. If you're hankering for something a little more cerebral than "Rollin', rollin', rollin'" then go check 'em out.

Is there any better way to open an Incubus concert than with Privilege? Tonight's sold-out crowd don't think so. Justifiably, everyone goes nuts. Then we go straight into Consequence, before Pardon Me rounds off the Make Yourself trio.
    Tonight's set concentrates heavily on the last two albums, and rightly so. Incubus have really raised their game on these releases, and on the occasions that older material is aired, it comes across as primitive in comparison - New Skin and A Certain Shade Of Green excepted.
    After a couple more full band Morning View tracks, vocalist Brandon Boyd and guitarist Mike Einziger pull out bar stools for a run through an acoustic Mexico - Boyd's lithe frame and Einziger's afro making them look like a modern day Simon & Garfunkel. The rest of the band join in again for Drive, before we're back onto Morning View material for storming renditions of Are You In? and Just A Phase.
    By the time Wish You Were Here and A Certain Shade Of Green wrap things up, nearly two hours have passed, and Incubus have played one hell of a set.

While you weren't looking, Incubus have become big news. These are big venues they're playing on this tour, and most of them have been sold out for weeks in advance. Tonight is the second of two sold-out nights at the Apollo - a major achievement. How long before Incubus follow Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit overground, and get some serious mainstream exposure?

:: Rowan Shaeffer

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.