28th August 2018
Incubus & Ecca Vandal
The well-filled hall of the Palladium in Cologne was nervous on this evening. People were running more excited than usual from one point to the next to get the best view. There was no crowding, but if someone asked, he was allowed through and not unfriendly dismissed. The audience was a mix from Metal to Pop fans, but invariably with beer, pretzels or tomato soup in hand. The present Viva con Aqua deposit collectors had no bad revenue.
You’d be forgiven for admiring her for the Beacon Street era Gwen Stefani vibe alone. Ecca has the same chutzpa as the Orange County queen of Ska, and commands attention in the same unrelenting manner. Ecca’s music is like she sunk her teeth into Jazz before discovering the intoxicating world of Hip-Hop and the DIY spirit of Punk Rock. BJORK is a musical hero, Miles Davis is an all-time favourite, and Mr Bungle and Fugazi led her to the tumult of DEFTONES and MESHUGGAH. To describe her influences as “broad” and doesn’t quite seem to cut it. http://www.eccavandal.com / https://www.facebook.com/EccaVandal
Music & Performance
The first piece starts with drums and bass. The vocals are super mixed. The guitar is currently only decoration, but the synths support everything with a bass line that goes into mark and leg. Fans of Christina Aguilera would certainly have fun in the appearance of the singer, but the voice also convinces with clear tones. Song two stormily starts with a scream, but is then muted by Rap singing and a little failure of the PA unfortunately. Angus Young’s dancing across the stage does not help to classify anything here. The next song is announced for all the dancers in the hall. Salsa would have been possible (*joke*). The whole thing fluctuates between SHAKIRA, structurally a TOOL song, and the synths allow further interpretation. All together a fascinating show that convinces the visitors. Song four starts with ZZ TOP sounds… but still with my best of intentions I cannot say anymore where the concept of Ecca’s music is, but it is done which is fun!
Total: 7 / 10
20 years after the debut album ‘S.C.I.E.N.C.E.’, the American Rock band INCUBUS released its eighth studio album ‘8’ on April 21, 2017. Now, INCUBUS finally returned to Germany after six years of absence! Since the band’s formation in 1991, INCUBUS has had many experiences and achievements: over 23 million record sales worldwide, a #1 album, four Top-5 debuts in the Billboard Top 200, and numerous tours with bands such as LINKIN PARK, OUTKAST, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, or JANE’S ADDICTION. The band has always been keen to challenge themselves as artists and people during all this time. The friendship between Mike Einziger and SKRILLEX led to their collaboration on ‘8’. The result? Unpredictable guitar riffs that blur the boundaries between the time signatures and there are hidden messages in the lyrics. The eleven tracks on ‘8’ together form a mosaic which reflects the current thinking of the band. http://incubushq.com / https://www.facebook.com/incubus
Music & Performance
Now the headliner of the evening! Enthusiasm storms as the first musicians are to be spotted: Mike Einziger (guitar), Jose Pasillas (drums), Chris Kilmore (DJ) and Ben Kenney (bass). The mood has already reached a climax before the first song which other bands have often had to fight for hard. When the guitar makes the first sound, everything is lost. People cheer and scream. As the drums and the first bass line start also the video screen comes to life and Brandon Boyd (vocals) is now in the spotlight. Abstract shapes flicker across the screen and the live-filmed musicians are cut into the show. Everything a bit delayed, but imposing. The vocals are clear and the backing vocals are understandable. The percussion set up on the side of the stage gives a good insight into the work of Jose Pasillas. Also the panning behind the desk of Chris Kilmore is exciting. Up close, there is more to do than you can see from the hall.
The audience dances to the last row from the first song on and supports Brandon Boyd eagerly on vocals. Then a snippet of Panjabi MC’s Mundian to Bach Ke comes along during the bridge… and the band convinces for the evening. As the singer disappears behind congas and the entire stage is exploited, even the otherwise restrained upper ranks clap in the quiet parts. And that was just the first song ‘Privilege’. ‘Anna Molly’ ends with a psychedelic intro for ‘Megalomaniac’. ‘A Kiss to Send Us Off’ becomes the final mood brightener with flashlight thunderstorms and nearly 30 moving heads. That only Hardcore fans are present, you can tell by the thunderous applause. The concert continues this way until the end of the encore, but delivering a few amazing cover versions towards the end of the main set. For sure, one of the best concerts some of the fans ever experienced, and you can only congratulate INCUBUS on this achievement. A special crowd pleaser surely was ‘The Warmth’ which has not been played in Europe since 2011!
01. Privilege (With a snippet of Panjabi MC’s Mundian to Bach Ke during the bridge)
02. Anna Molly
04. A Kiss to Send Us Off
05. State of the Art
08. Pardon Me
09. Sick Sad Little World
10. No Fun
11. Love Hurts
12. Absolution Calling
13. Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
15. Need You Tonight (INXS cover)
16. Nice to Know You
17. Wish You Were Here (With a snippet of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ at the end)
18. The Warmth (First time since 2011 in Europe)
20. A Crow Left of the Murder
Total: 8.8 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)