I saw tool at the last Lollapalooza before they became a giant multimedia spectacle so it was nice to see Maynard again just playing great music without all the bells and whistles. Best described as brooding and epic I found myself more interested in sitting and listening then dancing or singing along. Maynard was positioned on a platform at the back of the band and raised slightly higher flanked slightly lower on two platforms at each side of him by Iha and Freese while White and Howerdel played in front on the level stage. Freese White and Howerdel pounded out the melody while Iha added the sweetener with a well chosen arsenal of guitar noise as Keenan belted out vocals in the art metal wail only he could do. There were a few atypical moments as Keenan stopped at one point to say how wonderful it was to be sharing the same stage as Audioslave members Brad, Timmy C. and Tom, which he called “a real honor”. Also Keenan announced how A Perfect Circleâ€šÃ„Ã´s new album Thirteenth Step would come out in September and than handed the mic to James Iha who began singing the worst rendition of a ballad you could ever imagine. It was a hilariously uncharacteristic move that had the whole crowd cracking up.
Hustling back to stage 2 The Mooney Suzuki was already playing rocking in their own new school retro style much akin to early Who music with a smidge of happy punk rock. It was nice to hear The Mooney Suzuki again playing energetic songs from their recent album such as “In a Young Manâ€šÃ„Ã´s Mind” and “Oh Sweet Susanna”. After only a handful of songs though I realized the crowd was looking sparse and seeing what time it was I yet again rushed back to the main stage. Upon entering the crowd was now at max capacity and the unmistakable sounds and theme music from the first level of Super Mario Brothers blasted over the loud speaker. In mid stride passing the midsection marveling at just how packed the place was now, the lights went up and Incubus appeared with the opening flanger guitar of Warning.Brandon Boyd sang the appropriate opening lyric “let your eyes girl, be other worldly” as the crowd (especially the females) went crazy. Incubus played a remarkable set including songs from most of their catalog including three old favorite from S.C.I.E.N.C.E. “Vitamin”, “New Skin” and “Nebula” which I was ecstatic about. Morning View is Incubusâ€šÃ„Ã´s most successful album to date however I was not as fond of it. Seeing them live this time was one of those great moments where an album worth of material I was only lukewarm on had new life breathed into it. Songs like “Nice to Know You” and the closer “Wish You Were Here” seemed fresh and exciting. Brandon Boyd didnâ€šÃ„Ã´t play to the crowd much but heâ€šÃ„Ã´s the kind of rock star whose charisma is so huge he doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t have to. The typical moment of him taking his shirt off sent the women in the audience into a frenzy. By and large the music spoke for itself. The last time I saw Incubus on the 2000 Sno-Core tour they jammed a bit more stretching some songs out but this albeit different played well too. Sometimes thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s nothing more impressive than seeing a quality rock and roll band have an audience feeding off their every note.