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HQ Live

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Album Review

To commemorate their 20th anniversary in 2011, Incubus literally set up shop on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, renting out a storefront and dubbing it their HeadQuarters. Incubus' intent was to use their past to showcase their present. Over the course of four nights they dug deep into their past, playing large chunks of their early albums and excavating a few non-LP rarities, eventually weaving in selections from their new album, If Not Now, When? The 2012 collection HQ Live — available either as a single-CD/DVD set or a two-CD/DVD set — culls highlights from these four nights, picking a few hits but largely relying on songs known best to the diehards. Clearly, the description suggests this is something only for the dedicated, but this bare-bones, intimate setting plays to Incubus' strengths. They sound lean and sinewy, eschewing bombast for nimbly shifting tempos and mood, never succumbing to the moody meditations that occasionally drag down their studio work. HQ Live crackles with energy yet also illustrates the finesse in this sometimes underrated band; stripped down to the basics, their imagination and intensity shine brightly.


Formed: 1991 in Calabasas, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Incubus became one of the most popular alt-metal bands of the new millennium, setting themselves apart from a crowded field with a tireless touring ethic and a broad musical palette. Formed in 1991 in the San Fernando Valley suburb of Calabasas, California, the band's early lineup was comprised of tenth-grade classmates Brandon Boyd (vocals, percussion), Mike Einziger (guitar), Alex Katunich (aka Dirk Lance; bass), and José Pasillas (drums). Their early funk-metal sound was heavily influenced by...
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