Linkin Park + Incubus Roll Into Mansfield, Mass. – Review + Exclusive Photos
Rev your engines - the 2012 Honda Civic Tour is now under way. You’d think the powers that be had something to prove this year offering up the one-two punch of co-headliners Incubus and Linkin Park. Both bands are headlining acts in their own right, and their combined forces makes up one of the most potent rock tours of the summer.
Rolling into Mansfield, Mass., on Aug. 14, the tour showed a lot of promise, even before either band took the stage. With 12 studio albums, 40 singles, and several No. 1 songs between their two discographies, the set lists would inevitably be chock-full of hits. Although on the surface the bands have two very distinctly different crowds, the strength of the music would be enough to keep fans of either band in the house to watch the whole show.
Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd referred to the tour as their own ‘Monsters of Rock,’ and he wasn’t kidding. While both bands came up in California in the early '90s, strangely enough they never toured together, much to the chagrin of Chester Bennington, who admitted to gunning to get Incubus on the same tour as Linkin Park for many years. All that paid off when the two christened the 2012 run of the annual tour.
In what seemed like a logical decision, Incubus took the stage first. Not to say that Incubus fans are any less passionate, however, the two acts produce entirely different vibes. Incubus grab the crowd, settles into a groove, and invites you in like a long lost friend. Linkin Park take a different approach assaulting all of your senses from the word go and putting you on high alert from start to finish.
Brandon Boyd is a natural born performer who never seems to age. His unique voice combined with completely losing himself within his music makes everyone in attendance want to be a part of whatever he's got going on. They kicked off the night with ‘Adolescents’ and ended it with ‘Tomorrow’s Food,’ however, don’t let the bookended tracks from their 2011 disc ‘If Not Now, When?,’ fool you. The rest of the set list was a healthy dose of their last five discs, spreading the love throughout including an homage to Lionel Richie with their rendition of ‘Hello.’
Incubus played an 18-song, close to an hour and forty minute long set that was near perfect. Not perfect in the sense that there were no imperfections, but perfect in the sense that it’s evident that Incubus are seasoned pros when it comes to performing live. Their sound, delivery, and cohesion seem so effortless. While Incubus has gone on record to say that they’ll be taking a little break when this tour wraps, fans can take solace in the fact that whenever they decide to return to the stage, they’ll be as primed and ready as ever.
As fans waited for Linkin Park, there was a noted shift in the mood around the venue. New faces took over the general admission pit like a changing of the guard and the front row morphed into a male-dominated, Linkin Park t-shirt sporting contingent - all readily prepared for what was coming next.
Linkin Park only seem to have one speed when it comes to a live performance, and that’s all systems go. The band burst on to the stage and everything Incubus encompassed with swagger and finesse was traded in for intensity and power. Like Incubus, Linkin Park have the advantage of having shared a stage together for over a decade and through those years have crafted the rock show of all rock shows. From Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda bouncing from riser to riser trading vocals and dropping raps, to the more laid back stylings of guitarist Brad Delson and bassist Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell, and the even more elusive Rob Bourdon on drums and Joe Hahn on everything else, the pieces of Linkin Park fit perfectly into place.
Although the band dropped their latest No. 1 charting disc ‘Living Things’ in June, they didn’t put much of an emphasis on it throughout the night, playing only a handful of new songs among their monster set list. With just a few shows into the tour, it seems like they are focusing more on their overall discography rather than their newest music. With so many albums to draw from, it’s going to be a tough job to please everyone but the set list seemed to focus more on drawing in the casual fan with hit after hit.
With MuteMath opening the show it offers up close to five hours of non-stop rock. You can’t listen to the radio for five hours and get that kind of a guarantee, so head out to the Honda Civic tour and check out photos from the Massachusetts gig below: