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November 22, 2014

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Photos: Incubus wishes you were here (at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel)

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Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com

Brandon Boyd and his band Incubus at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, May 25, 2012.

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2012MDW: Incubus at HRH's The Joint

Brandon Boyd and his band Incubus at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, May 25, 2012. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Brandon Boyd and his band Incubus at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, May 25, 2012.

Click to enlarge photo

Brandon Boyd and his band Incubus at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, May 25, 2012.

Incubus has been making music for more than 20 years, and the alternative rock band’s Friday night concert at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel was exactly what you’d expect from a group with that longevity and staying power. There was a chemistry among the musicians, they were rehearsed, and their musical abilities were ever-present.

Incubus’ tour is in support of the band’s latest release, “If Not Now, When?” so a number of songs from the album were performed, most notably the first single off the album, “Adolescents,” a crowd-pleaser. Other “If Not Now, When?” tracks included the title song and “Isadore.”

Incubus didn’t ignore their earlier work, as many of the group’s hits (“Anna Molly,” “Megalomaniac” and “Wish You Were Here”) and fan favorites (including “Talk Shows on Mute” and “A Certain Shade of Green”) were sprinkled throughout the two-hour performance.

During the first few bars of “Drive,” lead vocalist Brandon Boyd asked the audience if they knew the song. The majority did, as the crowd went wild in response and sang along. The band even cut off their sound to let the audience finish two lines, and concertgoers didn’t disappoint -- a roar of “whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there” filled The Joint.

Die-hard Incubus fans were in abundance, as singing along was standard; more attendees than not were belting at the concert. Incubus’ more recent work was favored, as some older material didn’t receive the explosive reaction that others did. This might be a testament to the broad demographic that the band appeals to, as the audience was dominated by fans who appeared to be in their 20s (Incubus formed in 1991).

Each of the band members’ talents were exhibited onstage. Boyd’s vocal abilities have staying power that equal the band’s stamina. His falsetto was soft and soothing during tracks such as “Are You In,” and he showed off his substantial range. The frontman, whom I interviewed this week about his life away from Incubus, contributed more than his voice, too, playing the bongos and guitar. The band was extensively featured, with solos and instrumental pieces as segues between tracks. Mike Einziger’s guitar solo during “Talk Shows On Mute” received very strong applause.

Incubus was incredibly rehearsed; each of the tracks sounded just as they did on the albums, if not better. The succession of songs was fluid, and the band really worked the stage. Boyd and bassist Ben Kenney were bouncing around, and DJ Kilmore’s long hair could be seen spinning from the back of the expansive concert venue. The audience responded to their liveliness, jumping and fist pumping during high-energy numbers.

When the time came for the band to make their exit, the audience didn’t follow suit. Concertgoers didn’t budge after the band concluded its set, believing an encore was more than appropriate; it was necessary. Incubus delivered, returning to the stage to perform “Sick Sad Little World.” And if any fan really wanted more after two hours of Incubus, all they needed to do was purchase another ticket for tonight; the band plays another show at The Joint at 9 p.m.

Boyd even reminded the audience, leaving them with the last words: “See you tomorrow, Vegas.”

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