A concert to be remembered....
We shuffled into a crowded, hot and stuffy Barton Hall (over the hill at Cornell University). The stage was set for a heavy hittin' night. The backdrop was a huge 30 Seconds to Mars banner and two smaller banners on either side of the stage highlighting their pheonix logo (as seen on their self-titled debut album). The crowd was gettin' restless and already the heat was gettin' to me as the crowd crunched together, everyone trying to get a better view. Suddenly the lights went out and the crowd cheered as 30 Seconds To Mars took the stage.
30 Seconds To Mars, probably unknown to most of the people there that night, churned out a decent set. I however, caught wind of the who was opening and went to their website to check them out (www.thirtysecondstomars.com). The website convinced me to buy their CD ("Capricorn" blasts in the background as your surf the site). Their live show doesn't compare to their CD. I was hoping for a lot more than what they gave. Their live take on songs ended up all sounding similiar -- synth intro into rockin' out on guitars and shouting. They played "Edge of the Earth," "Buddha for Mary," "Fallen," "Oblivion," "End of the Beginning," and "93 Million Miles." (Sorry, I don't remember the set list exactly...) Maybe they need a little more work until their live show kicks it up a notch, and they're rockin' like on the record. They closed off their set with "Capricorn" and the crowd couldn't have been happier (whether it was becuase they were finally done, or they just thought the band rocked). The band proceeded to inform us that they'd be at the merchandise counter, signing autographs and such... I decided to give up that opportunity, and instead try to squeeze my way towards the stage (a futile attempt at best!).
In between the bands, the stage crew went out to change sets and prepare the stage for Incubus. Basically, they removed the 30 Seconds to Mars banner, and revealed... a big black background (later we find out, it's a large screen tv that projects prerecorded video and live concert footage) and the curtains on the sides light up like a black sky full of stars... hard to explain without knowing exaclty what they were (any ideas?). After much anticipation... the lights once again went out, and the crowd roared in approval as Incubus prepared to take the stage...
Most of us came tonight to see Incubus. This extremely great band, has an even greater live show. They kicked off the night with "Circles" and from there just kept the music going, from radio friendly hits, "Drive" and "Wish you were here" (as the back drop actually lit up like, "...a black canopy with holes punched in it...") to the quiet acoustic "Mexico" that led into an acoustic version of "11AM" just to rockin' out on songs like "Privilege," "Clean," and even a little bit of "Battlestar Galactica."
They also played the classic, "Glass"; a few more cuts from the album "Make Yourself": "I Miss You," "Make Yourself," "Stellar," and a couple cuts from "Morning View": "Nice To Know You," "Just a Phase," and "Are You In?." They "ended" the night with "Pardon Me"... and then returned to do their encore. The encore started off with a free jam as Dirk laid down a beat, Mike played little riffs and noise, and Brandon crooning out a few notes... Then they ended the night with two great songs: "The Warmth" and "Aqueous Transmission." As I stood there listening to the exotic sounds of "Aqueous Transmission" I realized how tight of a band Incubus really was. For the last hour or so, they had us rocking out, jumping up and down and shouting, and by the end of the night, we were listening to lush string backdrop to an array of exotic instruments." As "Aqueous Transmission" faded throughout Barton Hall, the crowd went crazy with appluase... quite the way to end the evening.