- Posted September 11, 2012 by
Chula Vista, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What are you watching?
HONDA CIVIC TOUR DRIVES INCUBUS & LINKIN PARK, IN THE END.
Have you ever been hung over after a concert and not consumed a drop of alcohol? Has a show you attended ever been so awesomely and outrageously spectacular that words fail to describe the mind-blowing experience? Well, I will try. Because the 2012 Honda Civic Tour that played it's last gig at Cricket Amphitheater on Monday, September 10 wins the prize for a perfect face-melting blend of the best our music world has to offer.
Mutemath, a newish band out of New Orleans, kicked off the festivities early at what looked to be a nearly sold-out house on a balmy late summer's evening. The band's drummer jumped up on the piano for their last song and banged away. Mighty impressive!
Next up: the beautiful, bounteously-talented Incubus, opened with "Privilege" and worked their way through a 16-song set list quite nicely. Loved the "Hello" by Lionel Ritchie cover intro to "Anna Molly." "Promises, Promises" on the piano was a nice touch. Despite this being the last tour date and lead singer Brandon Boyd's recent throat miseries, Incubus put on a scintillating sensuous performance that enthralled and captivated. Their mellowness was a nice contrast to what was to come next. No secret that Brandon Boyd is beloved--and not just by me. Camera close-ups of Boyd on the big video screen were encased with a heart shaped outline that spelled out the obvious sentiment among many in the audience. It was a great co-headlining performance.
Then there was Linkin Park. As thoughtfully melodic and thought-provoking as Incubus was, LP brought a whole another dynamic of pure power and urgent intensity that was so over-whelming, it made me feel faint! Game of Thrones song "With You" introduced the delirious fans to some stellar video screen action and musical playing tighter than tight. As in the last Linkin Park concert I deliriously reviewed at Viejas Arena in Feb. 2011, the hits--they kept coming--one after the other.
The audience was enraptured and sang along with them all. The blended three-song version of snippets from "Leave Out All the Rest/ Shadow of the Day/ Iridescent" was memorable. Chester Bennington told the crowd proudly that this Honda Tour just concluding was "the band's most successful North American tour" yet. Per Rolling Stone, this Honda Civic Tour ended up "grossing $1.8 million in L.A." alone. Hard ass Bennington also claimed to "shed a little tear" over this being the last show and how much he enjoyed touring with the other two bands. Ahhhh..
Interestingly, for such a large crowd on a very warm evening out in Eastlake, things were fairly serene, despite the intensity of the music and the potential for uber face-melting and mind-blowing. Unlike the last show I attended here--the Beach Boys in May, where I literally shivered through the whole show, the weather here at the Honda Civic Tour was very nice. The worst of the night I witnessed was an inebriated woman throwing up on the floor in front of me, and even that mess was quickly cleaned up by some very efficient Cricket housekeepers.
The Honda Civic Tour is also noteworthy for being around since 2001 with an annual tour featuring the best (or nearly) of current musical talent. Despite the pricey tickets--guest services quoted me $146 for section 100, and would not upgrade me to the front, despite my pleading, no one seemed to begrudge the gouging because the music was so damn good.
LP closed with a blazing "Bleed It Out" with Incubus's Mike Enzinger helping out on guitar. The song was mixed with a bridge of the Beastie Boy's "Sabotage." A three-song encore followed and the crowd--clearly on a musical cloud 9, exited satisfied beyond measure.