Just adolescents, you and I. It doesn’t make me feel any better. (Adolescents, If Not Now, When? by Incubus)
Maybe it was the roaring guitar riffs of Blood on the Ground or the impeccable vocals of Brandon Boyd or even the nostalgia sparked by singing along Drive. Maybe it was assembly of all goth-rock punskters my age group has ever seen. Or maybe it was all that rain. Whatever it was, the Incubus Concert (If Not Now, When? World Tour) at the Araneta Center last July 28, 2011 stirred the dormant rocker in me, and after months of indifference, I really, really missed NU 107.
I miss the days when I would hear 311, Peter Bjorn and John, Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs and Incubus songs in an hour. I miss the Remote Control Weekends where changing the radio station warranted an all-out war with yours truly. I miss the zany commercial breaks, the eloquent DJs (none of that anymore, anywhere), the year-end rock toppers and of course, the anti-thesis of everything abhorrently pop. Headbanging and just stomping my feet to Sick Sad Little World brought back the badass days where screaming Wolfgang was an ordinary morning occurrence and bands that sang about The House of Bamboo, Govinda or Peaches were accepted wholeheartedly. Thank God Incubus came over at the most opportune time, before I’ve destroyed all radios in our neighborhood and lost all my hair in disdain.
Typical to expect were Drive, Wish You Were Here, Nice to Know You, Circles, Love Hurts, Talk Shows on Mute, A Crow Left of the Murder and the singles of If Not Now, When? Album (Adolescents, Promises, Promises, In the Company of Wolves).
Isadore was an uncommon choice, as was another vintage song I couldn’t name. My brother offered the S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album songs (which honestly, I am vaguely familiar with but are in my ipod playlist) but it did sound long-ago given its predominantly metal sound. Another semi vintage, Circles reverberated the stadium like it was the 90s—round and round and round—and I never wanted it to end. Never really a fan of Are You In? I’d have to say that for once, I felt a sense of thrill chanting along with the crowd, while Megalomaniac was a real crowd winner—screaming obscenity in a rock concert over and over—what joy!
Coming to concert, of course, I too had song expectations that regrettably, were never played. I highly anticipated my sweet favorite Here in my Room and the dark but lovely Warning. Redefine was another vintage hopeful, and so was the recently popular Dig. I overheard my seatmate saying Stellar and remembered that too would’ve made an awesome sing-along. But with a 20-song repertoire, I can’t say that I missed out on the fun and every penny (oh wait, centavo) paid was well worth it.
In their last Philippine concert, Incubus concluded their repertoire with the dramatically extended version of Aqueous Transmission—apposite, poignant and simply heartbreaking—owed to the fact that it remains to be one of my favorite Incubus tunes. Conjectures for this year’s finale cannot be helped. While I secretly wished for a repeat performance of Aqueous Transmission, this I knew was too good to be true. Hence the bet was on If Not Now, When?—the eponymous album, with a nearly similar dramatic sound and the one song I compelled myself to memorize for Boyd’s comeback.
Being unlucky in placing bets and devoid of the knack for gut feel, I guessed wrong indeed. The chosen tune was Nice to Know You – pounding over pondering, pulsate rather than pour my heart out. Unexpected, but not bad, though I did sense tinge of irony: Nice to know you. Goodbye—which seemed to suggest our short-lived love affair with Incubus.
Having left the concert, with no NU 107 to turn to for that rock fix, I once again find myself in this audio abyss. The Home of New Rock ought to be rebuilt or music in this country is doomed.
Floating in this cosmic jacuzzi, we are like frogs oblivious.
Soon the water's starting to boil. No one flinches. We all float face down.