My Hard-Rockin’ Trip To Washington; Stolen Babies is/are awesome, Incubus is caca-doo-doos, and Linkin Park gives sloppy, eager head to the Honda Corporation
On the 4th and 5th of this month, close family and I embarked on a hard-rockin’ journey of pure-metal rockitude. However, rockin’ was surprisingly hard to come by. We paid $18 and drove five hours from Eugene into downtown Crack-City (Studio 7: located in Seattle’s finest skeevy industrial zone.) to see Stolen Babies play a truncated set that didn’t even include my favorite song. We then paid $85 dollars and drove to Tacoma to see Incubus and Linkin Park stink up the Tacomadome, which, by the way, is the shittiest place to have a rock show since the Superbowl. Here’s my take on all the rockin’ rock I rocked.
STOLEN BABIES – “A+++++”
For those of you who don’t know (and, apparently, that’s everyone) Stolen Babies is a quote, unquote “avant-garde” circus-metal band with an amazingly versatile and beautiful female lead-vocalist. They sound like Mr. Bungle or Oingo Boingo fused with speed metal with a sorta Tim Burton-cabaret aesthetic. The music is incredible, and I absolutely adore this band.
Plus, they were fucking amazing live! My only complaints are that they didn’t play long enough, and they didn’t play my favorite song. Hardly scathing criticism. Plus, they posed for this picture;
So…yeah! They’re really cool to their fans, and they make amazing music! Check them out! Here, I’ll help. Watch this;
May I have more of this, please?
INCUBUS – “F-“
There was a time when I really loved the band Incubus. They used to be really great. No, seriously. I bought “Make Yourself” the very day it was released. I listened to “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” in high school so much, my actual grades in science class went up. I go way back with these guys, and I’m sure many others do as well. However that’s also where I stopped. For me, Incubus stopped making new records since “Morning View”. That seemed to be about when Brandon Boyd’s vagina had fully grown in, and their stuff stopped having any teeth in it. And by ‘stuff’ I of course mean the music, and not Brandon Boyd’s vagina. Which, as we all know, is filled with razor-sharp teeth. Not all his own.
Brandon Boyd prepares to take the stage.
So you can imagine my disappointment, if not surprise, when they managed to play jack and shit from my favorite Incubus album "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." (Or, god forbid, something even earlier!). Goddamnit!! You know what? I fucking hate bands that completely ignore their classic material live! Especially if they've since mutated into Vegas-Elvis caliber self-parody like this. Excuse me, but you're currently getting away with charging everyone up to $85 a ticket right now because guys like me bought those early albums! Now, what? You're just so above and beyond that old shit that you can't provide a single song's worth of fan service? You sayin' you better 'dan me? Well, FUCK YOU, INCUBUS!!!
Thanks for absolutely nothing! I used to love you SO MUCH! And don’t give me any of your typical excuses for whenever someone complains that you didn’t play their favorite song whatever night. I know you have a fuck-ton of material, and you can’t play everything, and the alignment of the planets wasn’t just so, and blah blah blah. Just one…JUST ONE FUCKING SONG FROM “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.”!!! Those tickets were $85 dollars, you assholes! Not to mention it costs $25 just to park the fucking CAR! They charged us fucking bank for everything short of taking a piss. Ironic since you apparently charged me $85 bucks for total crap!
When Incubus first took the stage and opened with “Privilege” I felt optimistic about their set. I even thought they might play a few of the classics, since, like, they don’t have a new album out or fuckin’ something. Linkin Park just put one out (and boy does it suck), and Stolen Babies has a new one coming in mid-October I believe. But not Incubus. They can afford the space on the set-list, but I guess they thought Incubus fans would rather listen to classic Lionel Richie over classic Incubus.
Here. This was the set-list. You tell me. Does this NOT suck? (Hint: no)
1 • Privilege
2 • Wish You Were Here
3 • Megalomaniac
4 • Adolescents
5 • Nice to Know You
6 • If Not Now, When?
7 • Made For TV Movie
8 • Hello (Lionel Richie cover)
9 • Anna Molly
10 • A Kiss to Send Us Off
11 • Drive
12 • In the Company of Wolves
13 • Pardon Me
14 • Rebel Girls (P.S. This is the shittiest song of all time! The SHITTIEST!)
15 • Sick Sad Little World
16 • Tomorrow’s Food
This brings me to the worst part of Incubusese’s performance. For the very last song, they, of course, did NOT play a classic fan favorite, or even something from a later record that quasi-rocks. No, they instead closed with this;
“Tomorrow’s Food” is some new song I of course didn’t recognize (and apparently, a lot of people near me didn’t either). If I was a waiter, I’d describe this particular dish as a shit sandwich served with a circa 1969 bong water au jus. Made with bread of an excruciatingly boring rhythm, stuffed with some whisper quiet piano and guitar-by-product filling, and topped with a layer of rancid vocal cheese. The show ended with a whimper, and the band hilariously said “thank you” as the crowd collectively scratched their heads and audibly asked “what the fuck was THAT?!”
That, my fellow disillusioned concert-goers, was their big show closer. A song so mellow, it’s in a fucking coma. Jeezus, the last Dimebag Darrel show had a livelier ending. I now believe the rumors about their old bass player. Maybe he really was sent away to live out his remaining years with a nice family on a Thorazine farm as a saw horse. Good God…I never thought I’d miss Hoobastank, but here we are!
Yes, the Incubus show at the Tacomadome on Sept.5th was truly a disappointment in every way. Shame on you, Incubus! You treat your old-school fans like you must treat a multi-pak of Costco-brand dildos; you shove them in places they don’t want to go, and throw them in the garbage.
LINKIN PARK “D”
Before I saw this concert, Linkin Park were filed in the same section of my brain with the likes of Korn or Red Hot Chili Peppers…or even Katy Perry; I like one or two of their hits, but that’s all I really care to know.
They’re just a pop-act to me. But to a lot of people, they’re a real live rock band. Unfortunately, seeing them perform did NOT improve my opinion one iota. They were competent live, I mean, they were alright. But for the life of me, I still can’t tell why THIS band was ever as popular as they were. I mean, I love America, but our taste in Pop music is fucking daft.
For you L.P. fans out there, here’s the set list:
1 • With You
2 • Faint
3 • Given Up
4 • Victimized (with a snippet of Somewhere I Belong )
5 • New Divide
6 • In My Remains
7 • Empty Spaces
8 • When They Come for Me
9 • Waiting for the End
10 • Breaking the Habit
11 • Leave Out All the Rest / Shadow of the Day / Iridescent
12 • The Catalyst
13 • What I’ve Done
14 • Burn It Down
15 • In
16 • Numb
17 • Bleed It Out (with Mike Einziger)
18 • Lost in the Echo
19 • Papercut (NOT the Nirvana song, unfortunately)
20 • One Step Closer
So, first of all, they didn’t play “Crawling” which was too bad, cuz it’s one of few I knew going in. But they did play “Given Up” which is my favorite L.P. tune. But whatever, they played just fine. The mix was shitty, but musically the band did well. Whatever. I guess I was just kinda bored. Linkin Park songs start to sound alike after a very short time. First you do a rap, then you do a rock-anthem chorus (with optional scream), and you do it all again. Toss in a quick bridge, and top it with some wicky-wicky-fresh DJ bullshit. Rinse, wash, repeat. For two hours. Oy.
But all that was to be expected. My problem with this Linkin Park performance was how commercial and shamelessly sold-out the band is. See, this isn’t just any big rock tour. No! This is the “Honda Civic Tour ™”! Normally, no one would give a sailing shit about who the sponsor is, but this… it’s bad, man…
See, they had this big projection screen set up behind the band, and between bands, they would play fucking car commercials on a short, maddening loop. But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part was how they actually got the two singers from Linkin Park to personally promote their shitty cars! Yes, Chester…uh, whatever his last name is…and the other chubby guy that raps…Mike something…anyway, there they both are (on film, not live) reading a TelePrompTer the way an Al Queda hostage might. In that neither really give a shit if I buy a Honda Civic, and both die a horrific, painful death on camera.
Linkin Park has no business doing fucking car commercials. They are a very popular rap-rock band that enough people like that they can get the headlining spot on the Honda bullshit tour. Isn’t that enough? Is this the new goal in music? To be an artist that’s lucky enough to be compensated and revered in your actual lifetime, and you use that opportunity to become a salesman? You could have stayed in Podunk and accomplished that, you fucking load!
The highlight of this Möbius strip of pinpoint marketing was when they showed a clip of Chester and Mike seeing some badly tarted-up “Linkin Park-official” Honda Civic, for what I’m SO sure REALLY was the first time. They got to act like they were somehow impressed with it, proving in the process that these jerk-offs absolutely did NOT miss their true calling as Shakespearian thespians. Dude, ok. First; the singers in Linkin Park have such ridiculous bank, they wouldn’t be impressed with a Honda Civic unless one almost hit them when their $10,000/hr hooker accidentally misfired it from her vagina. And B; I don’t care what you do to it, it’s still a fucking Honda Civic, and it will never be cool. Just like rap-rock “music”, and just like Linkin Park.
The lessons learned; Stolen Babies is/are awesome, Incubus is caca-doo-doos, and Linkin Park gives sloppy, eager head to Honda. I had a great time. The fucking end.