It’s hard to think of two bands that better represent the alt-rock/nu-metal heyday of the late 90’s/early 2000’s than Incubus and Deftones. Although they sit at opposite ends of the spectrum within the genre, they compliment each other perfectly. Deftones bring the aggression and Incubus is there to mellow you out and bring you back to a more “zen” headspace- all of which adds up to a recipe for an amazing live show.
As fans filed in to Indianapolis’ White River State Park the topic on everyone’s mind was whether or not the rain would hold off long enough to get through the show. When The Bots kicked the night off shortly after 6pm the sky was still clear. Brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei may be young, but they’re no strangers to big shows; the duo took part in the Vans Warped Tour in 2010 and 2011 and have played Coachella and Bonnaroo. The brothers’ natural knack for music is clearly evident in their live show. Lead singer Mikaiah plays as though he was born with a guitar in his hands while Anaiah was in total control on drums.
Death From Above 1979 were up next and continued the theme of rock duos. Sebastien Grainger had the dual role of drummer and lead singer while Jesse Keeler filled out the sound with bass and keys. Although there wasn’t a ton of movement on stage the frenetic energy that emanated from the music more than made up for it.
When Deftones finally made their appearance they started with the brutal “Head Up” which puts lead singer Chino Moreno’s abilities as a front man on full display as he growls and paces the stage. Things really kicked in to gear during their second song, “Digital Bath” off their 2000 release White Pony. As the band headed in to the bridge of the song the lights and video screen that stood at the back of the stage flashed at a frenzied pace to compliment the newly turbulent sound.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Incubus and Deftones in Indianapolis/Deftones/\”]
It would seem the band expected their set to be cut short, because as soon as “Digital Bath” ended they started in to their massive hit “Change (In The House of Flies)” which is normally reserved for the latter half of the set. This was clearly the highlight of many fans’ night, as the crowd sang along to the song’s howling chorus with a stunning display of conviction.
The clouds continued rolling in throughout the set and the announcement everyone had been dreading came at the end of “Swerve City” as fans were told to seek shelter since a large storm cell was headed straight for the park.
The crowd dispersed in every direction as some fans headed out to local bars and eateries, while others decided to continue the party by “tailgating” in the underground parking garages. Even when the rain let up it seemed questionable as to whether or not the show would go on since the radar indicated there would only be a short break between storms.
Around 10pm the park reopened and fans swarmed through the gates to secure their spot for Incubus. For the next 45 minutes fans waited with bated breath. The park had reopened, but as the second round of storms hit only a few minutes after the park reopened everyone was still unsure as to whether or not the band would actually be take the stage.
Crew members scurried to keep the stage and equipment dry while fans entertained themselves with various chants (“Rain or shine!” being the most prominent) in attempt to persuade the powers that be to allow the show to continue.
At long last the lights went down and members of Incubus graciously waved to the crowd as they made their way to the stage. Bassist Ben Kenney and guitarist Mike Einziger donned ponchos in a fruitless effort to remain dry, although Kenney abandoned his by the third song. The band played a lengthy intro (Hans Zimmer’s “S.T.A.Y.”) before lead singer Brandon Boyd made his appearance. As soon as Boyd hit the stage fans erupted in cheers, clearly relieved that all their time in the rain wasn’t in vain.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Incubus and Deftones in Indianapolis/Incubus/\”]
The majority of the audience had long since given up trying to remain dry, and due to the steady downpour few fans risked dragging out their cameras to take photos or video. Instead, they seemed to revel in the ‘freedom’ the bad weather brought and simply enjoyed the experience.
Boyd’s vocals were flawless as he and the band plowed through a shortened, but respectable, 13 song set, fan favorites and hit singles all included, before calling it a night.
Monday morning reactions from fans proved to be a mixed bag. Nearly everyone seemed to agree that all of the bands put on stellar performances, but many expressed frustration over how the evacuation was handled and, more specifically, frustration over what some felt was a lack of communication in regards to the venue’s game plan.
To some degree it was a disappointing experience, but all of the artists made the best of the gloomy conditions and ended up putting on a pretty solid show.
The co-headlining tour continues until mid-August, so if you haven’t made it out to a show yet there’s still time to try to catch what’s sure to go down as one of the best tours of the summer.