The Bravery and Incubus – West Palm Beach, FL : 8/29/2007
Sound Advice Amphitheater
The Bravery has been branded a Cure cover band; with some critics discrediting their relevance in bitter prose. I think this is dismissive of a band that exhibits real talent through energetic synth-punk songs and an invigorating stage presence. The band played forcefully in the Florida amphitheater with a performance grace that legitimizes their rampant popularity. They are an easy listen, and their sounds are familiar but that is not necessarily enough reason to write them off. This night they showed me they could really rock by mixing confessional heartache and youthful angst in a electric mixer of synth and guitar backed by banging drums. Lead singer Sam Endicott does have the same tortured wail of Robert Smith which makes the lyrics so gripping; a strength not a fault as far as I am concerned. The upbeat dance song “Honest Mistake” gave the audience a reason to move their butts and the forlorn “Time Won’t Let me Go” brimmed with honesty and emotion.
I hadn’t seen Incubus for nearly four years. I have been a fan since Fungus Amongus. The first time I saw Brandon Boyd he had dreads down to his ass and he was playing a local club in Boston. Once the world got a taste of Boyd’s sweet vocals and confessional lyrics buoyed by the prodigious talents of his band mates his popularity soared. Since then Incubus have released four more albums and continued to produce great music. This was the third time I’ve seen them and again I was amazed by the bands ability to rock. Boyd’s voice never fails to amaze me. The nakedness of a stage performance strips out the tricks of the studio and sometimes this means a disappointment; the expectation of vocal or instrumental prowess dashed by the reality of the live show. But with Incubus this is never a problem. His vocals are strong and his expressive, meandering inflections are not lost on the stage. In reality his voice is even more powerful with the added dimension of his actual presence adding a drama to his heartfelt proclamations.The good vibes and smooth sounds caressed the crowded amphitheater. A quick glance around the audience revealed the emotional sing-alongs of his many fans. The crowd was hypnotized; enamored by Boyd’s sweet vocal melodies.