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Incubus with Sublime with Rome & Aquadolls

Incubus with Sublime with Rome & Aquadolls

by Ray Anton

Chart-topping rockers Incubus have embarked a summer 2022 tour across America following a brief Las Vegas residency in late March. The 38 date outing kicked off July 24th in West Palm Beach’s iThink Financial Amphitheater. Incubus is continuing support of their eighth studio album, appropriately named 8, released in 2017. The new album reached Number 4 on the Billboard 200 and was their first since 2011’s If Not Now, When?

The current lineup consists of original members Brandon Boyd (vocals), Mike Einziger (guitar) and Jose Pasillas (drums). Chris ‘DJ’ Killmore (turntables, keys) replaced DJ Lyfe, and Ben Kenny (bass) fills the spot of Dirk Lance. Joining them in support are special guests Sublime with Rome and The Aquadolls.

First up on the bill were the Aquadolls, an all-female four piece band. They were formed by lead singer Melissa Brooks as a three piece in La Mirada, California back in 2012. As the nearly sold out crowd awaited the start of the festivities, ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” started playing. The Aquadolls strolled onstage swaying to the tune and waving to the crowd. Their spunky brand of surf rock/pop was a high energy treat. The 25-minute set was packed with several catchy original tunes, a couple of covers and an homage to The Ramones by adding the phrase “Hey Ho, Let’s Go” to the last song of their set.

The next band up was a twist of the veteran alt rockers Sublime; Sublime with Rome. The band’s original singer and principal songwriter, Brad Nowell, died of a heroin overdose in 1996. The remaining members, drummer Bud Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson began collaborating with super fan Rome Ramirez performing Sublime material in 2009. Nowell’s estate would not allow the newly formed trio to use the band’s original name, hence the creation of Sublime with Rome. The trio has released three albums since its creation, each with a different drummer. Gaugh was replaced by Josh Freese, who was then replaced by current drummer Carlos Verdugo. The trio hit the stage at with “April 29, 1992.” Two songs in, Rome thanked the audience for their participation and explained how he was once a huge fan of the band, and how he appreciates that now he’s singing and playing guitar for the band. The guys had the crowd on their feet for the entire 45-minutes set. But the set was largely comprised of the songs of the original Sublime. They finished with the two most popular hits, “What I Got,” and “Santeria.”

Next was the act we had all been waiting for. The lights went dim and the opening notes of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” played over the speakers. The repeated phrase “I want my MTV” floated over the audience until Incubus appeared onstage and belted out “Nice to know you.” The massive screens behind the band displayed artistic images of the guys playing. They rolled into “Circles” and “Wish You Were Here.” The band sounded tight, just like the record. Brandon did not talk much between songs. He did frequently thank the audience for their cheering as the songs ended. While there were some spectacular lighting scenes during many of the songs, I wished there were follow spots on all the band members. At times Mike and Ben could not be seen during the songs.

That small detail, however, did not keep the crowd from being on their feet for the entirety of the show. There was a random moment of fun interplay while they were playing ‘Just a Phase’ when one of two beach balls that had been bouncing around above the audience found its way on stage. Brandon picked it up and whiffed trying to kick it back into the crowd. It’s then I realized, he was whiffing on purpose, getting each area of the crowd he was about to kick the ball to overly excited. He finally did boot the ball back into the crowd, where it seemed to stay bouncing around for the rest of the show. The mostly high energy show did slow down for the haunting ‘Here in My Room’ and ‘Mexico’. Mike broke out an acoustic guitar for an ‘unplugged’ feel for the songs.











The band got the crowd jumping again with their hit ‘Pardon Me’. After nearly an hour and a half of dazzling the audience, the guys closed out the set with ‘Drive’ and ‘Dig’. The ensuing roar of the crowd brought them back out to do two more songs ‘Warning’ and ‘Aqueous Transmission’. The final song had Mike put down his electric guitar and pick up a Chinese instrument called ‘Pipa’ to send us off into the night with a mellow song that had us feeling like we were floating away. It seemed so quiet you could hear what sounded like crickets chirping as the song ended. I liked the unusual way Incubus ended their concert, it was fresh and suited the band.

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