WBCN's local music director, Shred, introduced Sunday's concert at the
The band didn't disappoint, playing a full headlining set where the others got a half-hour each. With the brief, moody "Quicksand" serving as a proclamation, Incubus's songs had the heaviness but not the aggression of metal, and Chris Kilmore's turntables added dimension rather than just hip-hopping things up. Brandon Boyd's vocals could have benefited from a clearer mix, but the band was a well-oiled machine regardless, with Mike Einziger's guitar snaking around the verse of "Megalomaniac" before hurtling into the power-chord chorus.
The band could be airy on songs like "Punch Drunk" and as ebullient as its cover of "Let's Go Crazy," which was as spot-on as it could be without Boyd (or Einziger) actually being Prince. But it was the headlong "Pistola," which expanded until it was out of control and then broke down to begin again from its quietest parts, that captured the band at its dramatic, anthemic best.
Township, this year's WBCN Rumble winner, started things off with a solid set of riff rock reminiscent of Wolfmother without the vocal histrionics. By contrast, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club seemed more interested in locking into repetitive drones and then wallowing in them. It bordered on too-cool-for-cool's-sake, but the addition of acoustic guitar on "Weapon of Choice" and back-porch stomper "Ain't No Easy Way" gave the band an instant clarity missing elsewhere.
The Bravery followed, with singer Sam Endicott all hunched shoulders and sharp twitches as he led his band through a handful of New Wave knockoffs. But when he launched into "An Honest Mistake," he was unable to get more than a smattering of audience members onto their feet for the group's biggest hit.
The worst of the lot was Satellite Party, in which Jane's Addiction mastermind Perry Farrell showcased his faceless new band by going almost exclusively on a nostalgia trip. His inane, mumblemouthed intros led to dull-roar versions of "Been Caught Stealing," "Stop," and Porno for Pyros's "Pets" that took the easy way to adulation, an ironic twist for a performer who once reveled in his supposed transgressiveness.