Incubus, Deftones and The Bots

Photos and Review by Mike Bax

Originally just solicited as an Incubus show, Edgefest Series TWO got amped up a month after the concert announcement with the inclusion of Deftones and LA indie duo The Bots to the evening’s bill. No disrespect to Incubus here, but these three bands, along with Death From Above 1979, are touring throughout the USA as one of the BEST tours of the summer. Death From Above 1979 did a Nathan Phillips Square Panamania show recently, which explains their absence this evening.

Getting to see both Deftones and Incubus together in an environment like Echo Beach was a no brainer.

The Bots, a two-piece band comprised of brothers Mikaiah Lei and Anaiah Lei, ‘warmed up’ the sweltering crowd with 6 songs lifted primarily from their 2014 Pink Palms album. The Bots frontman Mikaiah Lei wrenched out howling guitar solos cast against the machine-gun drumming style of Anaiah Lei, to dizzying effect this evening. What felt like a painfully short set of music elicited cheers from the audience as the band wrapped up their performance announcing that Deftones would be on the stage shortly.

While some fans cited the Deftones set as being too short, I’d have to disagree. They played 16 songs over 75 minutes. 16 GREAT songs, I might add. Sporting a white Morrissey shirt and a warm grin for much of this evening’s performance, frontman Chino Moreno was in top form – perhaps the best I’ve ever seen from him, truth be told. Launching into ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ to start the show and winding things down with ‘Engine No. 9’, every song performed sounded like something special.

During ‘Passenger’, Chino invited an energetic member of the audience on stage to perform the Maynard James Keenan vocals from the track. Before starting, he warned the audience that it could be a mistake, and some initial mic challenges for the guy from the crowd almost made it exactly that. Once the mic was working and the guy got a chance to really sing, he did a totally decent job, much to everyone’s surprise, including Chino, who showed some obvious elation for what the guy delivered throughout the song. That could have been a Deftones moment gone horribly awry – I’m sure there’s some YouTube footage of the guy doing the vocals. Take a look and judge for yourself.

Incubus, quite simply put, is an extremely talented band. I’ve not really been into their music for the past decade, as I found their progression from early albums like S.C.I.E.N.C.E. (1997) and Make Yourself (1999) into what they have become over the past 15 years, a bit too radical for my liking. That said, I was genuinely excited to see them perform again, having not seen them live for well over a decade.

Playing a variety of material old and new, Incubus totally delivered the goods. Having released a four-song EP entitled Trust Fall (Side A) this year to follow up 2011’s If Not Now, When?, Incubus performed three of the four songs on the EP for this evening. Frontman Brandon Boyd continues to execute each live show like it’s his last, judging from his energy level this evening. Boyd literally exudes musical talent, and it was amazing to see him performing live once again. ‘Pistola’ and ‘I Miss You’, two songs new to this tour, were delivered along with benchmark songs like ‘Nice to Know You’, ‘Drive’ and ‘Megalomaniac’ (which teased a little of ‘Come As you Are’ by Nirvana).

There must have been double the amount of people in attendance for Edgefest TWO compared to last week’s Milky Chance headlined Edgefest, a testament to Toronto’s dedication to music of a heavier persuasion. While I personally went to this performance for the Deftones, I left feeling like I’d seen a package of three choice bands, captured in the intimate outdoor ambience that only Echo Beach can deliver.

Deftones setlist:
My Own Summer (Shove It)
Lhabia
Rocket Skates
Diamond Eyes
You’ve Seen the Butcher (Chino sang from the crowd)
Tempest
Swerve City
When Girls Telephone Boys
Passenger (crowd singer)
Digital Bath
Knife Prty
Change (In the House of Flies)
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
Headup
Bored
Engine No. 9

Incubus setlist:
Nice to Know You
Anna Molly
Circles
Absolution Calling
Are You In?
Sick Sad Little World
Vitamin
Trust Fall
In the Company of Wolves
Pistola
Wish You Were Here
Dance Like You’re Dumb
I Miss You
Pardon Me
Megalomaniac w ‘Come as You Are’ by Nirvana

Encore:
The Warmth
Drive
A Crow Left of the Murder w ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ by The Beatles

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www.thebotsband.com
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