I’ve always felt a little bad for California’s Incubus (though not too bad, once you factor in all the money they raked in and the hot and cold running groupies… but I digress).
Coming on the radio in the mid-to-late ’90s, their record label took the easy route and simply tried to cram them into a box alongside the other nu-metal mooks who were ruling the world at the time. Yes, they are guilty of having the most unnecessary instrument for a rock band: a DJ, but unlike Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and the slew of other frat rock bands that embarrassed the music world for a few years, the guys in Incubus could actually use more than a handful of brain cells in writing lyrics and putting together some challenging songs.
So as Sony Legacy puts out HQ Live, a collection of live tracks gathered on the band’s 20th anniversary tour last summer, let’s all agree to give the band a fair chance and pretend that they didn’t play alongside all of those dreadful nu-metal folks so many years ago.
The 2-disc, 1-DVD collection is a good reminder of just how great these musicians can be, not only on the hits like “Drive,” “Pardon Me” and “Megalomaniac,” but on newer tracks like “Love Hurts.”
Over the past two decades, Incubus has managed to stay together – one short hiatus aside – continuing to release great music (their most recent being 2011’s If Not Now, When?). If you’ve stopped following the band around the same time you shaved off that goatee, HQ Live is a good excuse to check back in.