Incubus

Alive at Red Rocks

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In the music world, one person's idea of selling out is someone else's idea of artistic growth, evolution, and maturity. The "sellout or growth" question has been applied to everyone from Miles Davis to Hole and Metallica, whose Load was hailed as a masterpiece by some and a sellout by others -- and similarly, Incubus have also endured their share of attacks from those who are hostile to change. Some fans of their early rap-metal/funk metal work see 2001's Morning View and 2004's A Crow Left of the Murder as a sellout -- they much prefer Incubus' old Korn/Rage Against the Machine/Red Hot Chili Peppers moves to the more melodic, nuanced post-grunge approach they have since adopted. But anyone who sees Morning View or A Crow Left of the Murder as selling out would probably say the same thing about Hole's Live Through This; truth be told, Incubus still have a lot of meat on their creative bones -- becoming more melodic isn't necessarily synonymous with a loss of substance and integrity. And for those who appreciate Incubus' willingness to forge ahead, the arrival of Alive at Red Rocks is a good thing. Disc one of this two-disc set is a DVD focusing on a July 26, 2004, show at Denver's Red Rock Amphitheater, while disc two is an audio CD that ranges from previously unreleased studio material to live performances in Malaysia and Australia. Emphasizing songs from the late '90s and early 2000s, Alive at Red Rocks is hardly the work of a band that has turned wimpy -- inspired, gutsy performances of "Talk Shows on Mute," "Drive," "Wish You Were Here," "Megalomaniac" and other favorites demonstrate that Incubus, for all their melodic growth, still have plenty of bite. Alive at Red Rocks isn't for the alt-metal/nu metal ideologues who insist that Incubus peaked around 1995-1996, but anyone who admires their more recent output will find a lot to savor on this generally excellent release.

Track Listing - Disc 2

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blue highlight denotes track pick