Incubus give a Stellar performance in Pretoria

Twenty-seven years and eight studio albums later, Incubus touched down in South Africa for the first time and it was worth the wait.

Local rock band (and one of our favourites) Hellcats kicked off the afternoon with their unique stripped-down sound, making sure the crowd were well warmed up and loose – yes we know what you guys meant 😉 – with a set full of crowd favourites. The term bromance is not one we like to use here at RS, boet, but if there was an award for best bromance in rock these two would surely win every time. They always seem to be enjoying themselves on stage and their jokes between each other just make for a set full of good tunes and better vibes for everyone.
Warwick, we hope your mom knows now who Incubus are?

With about 30 minutes between sets, and the Pretoria heat bearing down on the crowd it would have been easy to just put our feet up and chill after Hellcats, but Cortina Whiplash were having nothing of that. From the get-go, they showed us why they are one of South Africa’s best bands. Loandi Boersma knows how to keep a crowd engaged and bringing guests such as Big Willy  from Fuzigish on stage only added to the set.

Next up was Dan Patlansky and when Barney Simon says you are the best guitarist in the world, you are the best guitarist in the world.
And for once we are at a loss for words as to what we witnessed on stage. We asked the question on the day “Is Dan an extension of his guitar or is the guitar an extension of Dan?”, and we still don’t have an answer. What Dan Patlansky can do with a guitar beggars belief. We’ll just leave it there.

The African sun was setting and covering the stage when the BCUC drums started…and didn’t stop until their final beat. BCUC are more than a band, they are a performance and they brought everything they have to the stage and left the crowd mesmerized. We didn’t just watch BCUC, we felt BCUC and felt a part of BCUC. Lead singer Jovi might have said that they were shit scared before their set, however, it didn’t show. Their drums never stopped and he never stopped, reminding us how much potential we have as a nation and that now is the time to move forward and become what we are meant to be.

Southern Wild were the final South African band on stage and what a set it was. Lead singer David van Vuuren gave everything he had with every song and his dedication of their song “I’m So Happy I Could Die” to his brother gave the crowd it’s second wind after what had been an afternoon of mindblowing sets. Southern Wild leave nothing behind when they perform and going into their last song, “Emotion Electric Love” they somehow shifted up a gear and gave a truly rousing performance to finish off what had been not just an amazing, but also inspiring set.

We have to stop here and say quite comfortably that the concert could have ended at this point and we would have been beyond stoked at what we had witnessed. All of the opening acts put on inspiring performances and provided yet another reminder to the country of the talent we have here.


Stage setup done – check
Lights dimmed – check
Five silhouettes walking onto the stage – check (Chris Kilmore’s dreadlocks gave away the band 😉 )

And then it began – Incubus playing live in South Africa. Kicking off with “Glitterbomb” and “Circles” the wait was over and we were happy. Dropping in a “Howzit” to the crowd, lead singer Brandon Boyd endeared himself and the band to the crowd, can we claim him as a Saffa now?

Incubus are one of those bands that mean a lot of things to a lot of people and you could not only see what a song meant to those around you, you could also feel it. This is what makes live music the experience that it.

After fantastic songs that included hits such as “Anna Molly” and “Megalomaniac”, Incubus played “Pardon Me”, which was the final affirmation that, holy crap, Incubus are here…playing live in South Africa and the crowd responded with hedonistic enthusiasm.

The breaks between songs not only built up the excitement but also allowed for some memorable intros and interludes.

Displaying his amazing skills as a turntablist, Chris Kilmore had the crowd jumping between songs, before bringing in the first few notes to “Nice to Know You” to his mix which lead to a collective roar from the crowd and an explosion of energy from the band.

Bringing in a good mix of old and new, Incubus played  hits such as “Stellar” and “Talk Shows on Mute” which lead into a funked up cover of INXS’s “Need You Tonight”, but still we hadn’t heard what are arguably their two biggest hits “Wish You Were Here” and “Drive”, however we needn’t have worried 🙂

Once the first few chords of “Wish You Were Here” started, the crowd become a single voice that sang every single lyric, played every single chord. Finishing off the song with a cut from Pink Floyd’s “Wish you were Here” just capped off what was for me the highlight of the set.

“Drive” followed soon after and we continued to live the reality that was an Incubus concert. The band never wavered in giving an amazing performance over what had been nearly 90 minutes of amazing and the crowd responded with rapturous applause for this song, which was the last one in their main set. Stepping off the stage, we said our goodbyes but also called for an encore.
Lights off – check
Torch-light to light the way – check
Five silhouettes walking back onto the stage – check (Yes Chris Kilmore’s dreadlocks provided the clue again)

And what was to be the final song of a wonder filled set, Incubus gave us “Warning”, left us with lifelong memories and we were happy.

Review by Free T-Shirt Stan
Photographs courtesy of Anneke Plessis (Tenfour Media)