Incubus at Garden Theater, Tokyo/©︎Aki Fujita Taguchi




Incubus made a triumphant return to Tokyo at the Garden Theater on Wednesday night, captivating fans with their signature blend of alternative rock. Since its formation in 1991, the California-based band has consistently pushed the boundaries of its genre, achieving global recognition with over 23 million album sales and platinum certifications worldwide.

Despite the pouring rain, fans eagerly gathered at the new 8,000-capacity venue, undeterred by the inclement weather. At around 8:07 PM, Incubus opened up the show in front of a well-packed crowd. Bathed in a faint blue stage light, the band launched into “Quicksand” from their 2006 album Light Grenades. The band’s figures were barely visible at this point. The stage brightened up during the second song, “Nice to Know You” from the 2001 album Morning View, revealing a clearer view. Brandon Boyd, adorned in an Iggy Pop T-shirt, with his flowing locks, remained as cool as ever, inciting a surge of excitement among the audience. Towards the end of the song, the backdrop displayed beautiful fireworks-like visuals, eliciting cheers and prompting an enthusiastic sing-along from the audience, setting the tone for the rest of the evening.

The infectious rhythm of “Anna Molly” began with Mike Einziger‘s guitar cutting through. Brandon’s explosive movements and wild hair-flipping actions were incredibly cool and captivating. The backdrop displayed real-time footage of the band performing on stage, creatively mixed with visual effects, adding to the overall spectacle.

Following “Pardon Me” from the 1999 album Make Yourself, the new bassist Nicole Row was introduced. With her striking appearance, she delivered robust and groovy basslines with ease. Having previously supported artists like Panic! at the Disco, Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa, she is one of the most notable bassists gaining attention today. “Karma, Come Back,” the opening track from 2020 EP Trust Fall (Side B) kicked off with her bassline resonating through the house. As the song progressed, Brandon decided to shed his shirt, showcasing his sculpted upper body to the delight of the crowd, igniting cheers from every corner of the venue! After the spirited sing-along of The Beatles cover, “Come Together,” the band seamlessly transitioned into “Are You In?”

Chris Kilmore’s smooth scratches added the relaxed atmosphere to the song before diving into a cover of The Doors “Riders on the Storm.” Frontman Brandon certainly evoked Jim Morrison‘s madness and charisma, fitting perfectly with the mysterious and dark melody. In the following song, “Vitamin” from 1997’s S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Brandon showcased his versatility by playing the djembe drum by hand before transitioning to the sticks for the drums. The seamless segue into the atmospheric Portishead cover “Glory Box” was also a clever move. Then the crowd erupted during the beloved hit song “Megalomaniac” from 2004 album A Crow Left of the Murder…, with the venue shaking as everyone jumped and sang along.

A standout moment came when Japanese guitarist MIYAVI joined the band on stage for a rendition of David Bowie cover “Let’s Dance,” adding an electrifying dimension to the performance. The crowd got excited again as Incubus closed out the main set with the band’s most well-known song “Drive” from Make Yourself. Nicole, Brandon, and Mike are seated in the center of the stage, creating a deeply emotional moment with the audience singing along passionately. Returning for an encore, they treated fans to a heartfelt performance of “Wish You Were Here”, followed by the ethereal sounds of “Aqueous Transmission”.

The skill and musicianship of each member were truly outstanding, leaving a lasting impression. Bassist Nicole’s authoritative stage presence and guitarist Mike’s skillful guitar work enriched every performance, complemented by drummer José and turntablist Chris, who contributed a strong rhythmic backbone and added texture to the music. Especially, Chris’ turntable wizardry brought an unexpected edge to the mix.

The 100-minute setlist primarily featured songs from the re-recorded album “Morning View,” along with tracks from other albums and covers, offering a satisfyingly diverse show. Bands with charismatic frontmen like Incubus truly shine in live performances, transporting us from the mundane to a realm of bliss. We eagerly anticipate their swift return to Japan, ready to once again treat us to an utterly sublime and undeniably cool experience.



Brandon Boyd – Vocals and Percussion

Mike Einziger – Guitar

Nicole Row – Bass

José Pasillas – Drums

Chris Kilmore – Turntables



Set list:

1. Quicksand

2. Nice to Know You

3. Anna Molly

4. Stellar

5. Sick Sad Little World

6. Circles

7. The Warmth

8. Pardon Me

9. Karma, Come Back

10. Come Together (The Beatles cover)

11. Are You In? (with The Doors “Riders on the Storm” bridge)

12. Vitamin (with Portishead “Glory Box” outro)

13. Warning

14. Miss You

15. Megalomaniac

16. Let’s Dance (David Bowie cover with MIYAVI)

17. Drive


18. Wish You Were Here

19. Aqueous Transmission






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