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REVIEW: Incubus, Sublime with Rome, The Aquadolls Chill Out the Desert at Ak-Chin Pavilion (8-22-22)

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PHOENIX — Ak-Chin Pavilion wrapped up its summer concert series with Incubus, Sublime with Rome, and The Aquadolls as part of their “Summer 2022” tour. The three California bands brought a reggae-meets-alternative end-of-summer party to Phoenix, and a party it was! The kick-ass girl band The Aquadolls, plus 90’s and beyond radio favorites Sublime with Rome and Incubus brought a “chill” to the desert and a whole lot of fun for a Monday night in Arizona. 

The Aquadolls

The Aquadolls
Melissa Brooks (Vocalist, Guitarist), The Aquadolls
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

The Aquadolls emerged as Abba’s “Dancing Queen” ushered them onto the stage. Singer and lead guitarist Melissa Brooks shouted, “Who’s ready to party?” and jumped into the 2013 song “Mine” from their album Stoked on You, followed by “Our Love Will Always Remain” from the same album. 

The all-girl band of “perma-teenage mermaids” from the Orange County area were founded in 2012 by lead singer and writer Brooks, who recorded demos in her bedroom before signing with indie label Burger Records. Their current lineup includes Jacqueline Proctor on drums and Keilah Nina on bass. Their tongue-in-cheek lyrics paired with an upbeat pop sound served as a great fit for this summer tour. A psychedelic, tie-dye screen with floating palm trees and the Aquadolls logo were the perfect scene-setting backdrop for their high-energy pop-alternative music. 

The Aquadolls
Jacqueline Proctor (Drummer), The Aquadolls
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Their seven-song setlist continued with their new single “Beachy,” which is scheduled for release on August 26th on Enci Records, and a high-energy cover of the Go-Go’s classic hit “Vacation.” Brooks gave a shout out to their crew and tour headliners: “Who’s ready for freaking Sublime? Who’s ready for freaking Incubus?!” while the exuberant crowd cheered. Next up, a catchy and fun song about obsession, “Sneaky,” followed by “Take Me Away.” Finishing out the set was a song Brooks said was about tripping out, called “Wander.” The Aquadolls made sure to take time for fans at the merch booth after their set. 

Sublime with Rome

Sublime with Rome performing in Phoenix
Sublime with Rome
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

With flashing red and blue police lights and images of riots projected behind them, stoner-music favorites Sublime with Rome kicked off their set with “April 26, 1992”. As if on cue, the arena filled with the smell of weed, with Rome Ramirez asking, “Where my stoners at?!” before sliding into the weed-friendly anthem “Smoke Two Joints.” Eric Wilson’s deep guttural basslines hit hard during “Doin’ Time” while images of lowriders were projected on the screen and the crowd sang along to the chorus, “most definitely”. Drummer Carlos Verdugo didn’t miss a beat with his huge beaming grin, and his unique bent-elbows-held-high style of drumming.

Carlos Verdugo (Drummer), Sublime with Rome
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

The band played more reggae-inspired hits next with “The Wrong Way” and “Badfish”. They also made time to pay homage to “our brothers in Katastro”. The Phoenix reggae-rock band Katastro lost their lead singer, 32-year-old Andy Chaves to a deadly car crash on May 12th on the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Sublime is no stranger to loss, and have rebuilt the band following the death of original singer Bradley Nowell to a heroin overdose in 1996. With the house lights up, a dalmatian dog joined the band onstage, in honor of “Lou Dog,” the Sublime mascot who shared the stage with the band in the 90’s.

Rome Ramirez (Vocalist, Guitarist), Sublime with Rome
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Ramirez started “What I Got” while fans danced with their flashlights on. Their set ended with the popular “Santeria”. Sublime brought their mega-talent and chill vibe for a fun, end-of-summer show. 


“I want my, I want my MTV…” from “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits played over the P.A. as the walk-out song for Incubus, the third California-based band of the tour. On came the lights, and frontman Brandon Boyd sang a powerful version of “Nice To Know You” to kick off a nearly two-hour set covering three decades of songs from the alternative band. Boyd spent the entire set on a chair, stating he hurt himself without elaborating how, but amused by the spinnable chair. 

Brandon Boyd of Incubus in Phoenix
Brandon Boyd (Vocalist), Incubus
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

With his shoulder-length hair and white pants, Boyd said he remembered playing Ak-Chin Pavilion years before, after traveling from California in a van when Incubus toured with Dirty Heads in the 90’s. Currently, he is touring with bandmates Mike Eiziger on guitar, Chris Kilmore on turntable, José Pasillas on drums, and Ben Kenney on bass guitar on a 27-date U.S. tour that began July 24th and wraps up September 3rd. 

Chris Kilmore (DJ), Incubus
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Next up was “Circles,” matching the track sequence from Morning View. Afterward, the house lights came on and Boyd asked for the crowd’s help as the band performed “Wish You Were Here”. A powerful version of “Anna Molly” blew the crowd away, followed by an amazing, extended version of “Just a Phase” with a little of The Doors “Riders on the Storm” injected into the middle.

Brandon Boyd of Incubus in Phoenix
Brandon Boyd (Vocalist), Incubus
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Their 16-song set was full of both radio hits and deep cuts from their 30-year history, like Make Yourself’s “Stellar” and “Pardon Me”, “Sick Sad Little World” from A Crow Left of the Murder, 2020’s apropos “Karma, Come Back” from Trust Fall (Side B), “Vitamin” (barely placating S.C.I.E.N.C.E. fans) and more. During “Mexico” the injured Boyd placed his arm around guitarist Eiziger’s shoulder in a sort of seated side-hug and sang the “ooo”s of the song’s bridge in a beautiful bromance moment.

Mike Eiziger (Guitarist), Incubus
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

When Incubus said goodnight, fans naturally were not having it. With cell phone flashlights beaming, the fans cheered for more, and the band returned to the stage. They closed out the night with “Warning” and “Drive.” What a way to end the summer – three hella chill bands bringing Cali-style fun and cool vibes to the desert!

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Photographer: Katherine Amy Vega

View Separately:
Shaggy | TLC | En Vogue | Sean Kingston | Nyce Hitz

Incubus* | Sublime with Rome* | The Aquadolls*

*Includes a few additional photos

Incubus, Sublime with Rome, The Aquadolls – Ak-Chin Pavilion 8-22-22

Photography © Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
All Rights Reserved.

The Aquadolls Tour with Incubus and Sublime With Rome Kicks Off July 24

So Cal all-female rock trio The Aquadolls will be on the road with Incubus and Sublime With Rome from July 24 through September 3rd. See dates below.

Watch for new music coming soon. In the meantime, the band’s latest single titled “Help (I’m Falling 4U and I Can’t Get Up)” is out now.

Stream the single here, and stream the video here.

Frontwoman Melissa Brooks says, “This song tells the story of falling for someone and starting to obsess over them. It’s about imagining all of the things we could do together, both romantic and twisted, showing the darker sides of having a crush and longing for more to come from it.

Produced by Fat Mike of NOFX and Jon Graber, this song is a sultry slow jam compiled of surfy guitar with a heavy kick drum, hitting our heart strings with every chord.”

“Help (I’m Falling 4U and I Can’t Get Up)” follows on the heels of the trio’s recently national co-headline tour with Republic Records’ Sitting On Stacy, and their recent appearance at Ventura, CA’s Surf Rodeo.

Already a festival favorite, having performed for the masses at Lollapalooza, Ohana Fest, and Beachlife Festival, The Aquadolls will again grace the stage at Austin City Limits Festival this October.

The 3-piece has just finished recording a new LP that is scheduled to be released soon on Enci Records.

Aquadolls Tour Incubus Sublime with Rome 2022

Incubus / Sublime With Rome / The Aquadolls Tour Dates

  • Sunday, July 24 West Palm Beach, FL iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
  • Tuesday, July 26 Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place
  • Wednesday, July 27 Atlanta, GA Lakewood Amphitheatre
  • Friday, July 29 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Saturday, July 30 Doswell, VA AfterHours Concerts at The Meadow Event Park
  • Sunday, July 31 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
  • Tuesday, Aug 02 Syracuse, NY St. Joseph’s Heath Amphitheater at Lakeview
  • Wednesday, Aug 03 Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center
  • Friday, Aug 05 Camden, NJ Waterfront Music Pavilion
  • Saturday, Aug 06 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
  • Sunday, Aug 07 Bangor, ME Maine Savings Amphitheater
  • Tuesday, Aug 09 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
  • Wednesday, Aug 10 Clarkston, MI Pine Knob Music Theatre
  • Friday, Aug 12 Bonner Springs, KS Azura Amphitheater
  • Saturday, Aug 13 Maryland Heights, MO Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis
  • Sunday, Aug 14 Tinley Park, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago
  • Tuesday, Aug 16 Rogers, AR Walmart AMP
  • Wednesday, Aug 17 Dallas, TX Dos Equis Pavilion
  • Friday, Aug 19 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • Saturday, Aug 20 Austin, TX Germania Insurance Amphitheater
  • Monday, Aug 22 Phoenix, AZ Ak-Chin Pavilion
  • Wednesday, Aug 24 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
  • Friday, Aug 26 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
  • Saturday, Aug 27 Irvine, CA FivePoint Amphitheatre
  • Sunday Aug 28 Chula Vista, CA North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
  • Tuesday, Aug 30 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort and Casino (Grand Theatre)
  • Thursday, Sept 01 Ridgefield, WA RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater
  • Saturday, Sept 03 Bend, OR Hayden Homes Amphitheater

About The Aquadolls

The Aquadolls was formed in La Mirada, CA in January 2012 by lead singer and songwriter Melissa Brooks, who began recording bedroom demos of her songs. She eventually released the album We Are Free in early 2013, followed by the LP Stoked on You in December 2014. After a brief break from releases, the stars aligned in July 2018, and the new era of The Aquadolls commenced with Jacqueline Proctor on drums and Keilah Nina on bass. The band grew as a powerful threesome leading up to the release of The Aquadolls’ highly anticipated second album, The Dream and the Deception, recorded and self-produced by Brooks and self-released October 28, 2018, on Aqua Babe Records.

Following their sophomore album, the trio self-released the single “Suck on This” in summer 2019, followed by their 2020 viral cover of Lash’s “Take Me Away” (a track made famous via its inclusion in the 2003 Lindsay Lohan-starring Disney film ‘Freaky Friday’).

After signing with Enci Records and releasing a trio of singles (including the track “Cry Baby” which hit the top 10 Alternative Specialty Charts), The Aquadolls, whose sound mixes indie, punk, surf rock, and vintage bubblegum girl-group swagger, went on to garner praise from the likes of Spin, Paste, Alternative Press, New Noise Magazine and many more.

The Aquadolls Acclaim

“Coming from the suburbs of Los Angeles, the Aquadolls are punk pioneers in the broadest sense. They ooze eclecticism, stacking elements of indie– and surf-rock on top of a distinctly pop-punk foundation. While their sound might not exist at a comfortable spot for genre purists, fans of sonic experimentation will surely find their versatility entrancing.”- Alternative Press

“… exudes an undeniable attitude…”- New Noise Magazine

“The Aquadolls exude a positively energetic, and powerfully confident vibe. A mix of influences and life experiences between this trio, makes for their inspiringly eclectic, powerful punk rock n roll music.”- Wall Of Sound

“If there was a missing link between 60s girl groups, California surf-pop, 90s skater rock and Taylor Swift’s assertive pop-sassiness it might be this lo-fi band helmed by singer-guitarist Melissa Brooks from Southern California.”New Zealand Herald

“In line with other historical all-female bands such as Bikini Kill.”- The BC Heights

“If you were looking for a new mood-booster, this is it.”Riff Magazine

“The Aquadolls are a So-Cal trio primed to blast off. Featuring surf-rock vibes alongside pop-punk vocals, these witty women excel at blending genres and garnering attention they rightfully deserve.”Idobi Radio

“…fuzzy surf-psych-grunge pop from Southern California with an ebullient sing-a-long vibe.things are on the up-and-up for this cool crew.”*Oh My Rockness*

“The Southern California band effortlessly pours out infectious shoegazey bops, earnest headbangers, cosmic surf-punk ballads, and electrified power-pop anthems. Despite the sheer range of styles and genres reflected in their music, there’s a real cohesion to The Aquadolls’ addicting combination of sharp edges and even keel. No matter what vibe a given song has, it’s clear The Aquadolls are putting everything they have into the music they’re making.”Hard Noise

“This is a rock band composed of womxn unafraid to unhinge their music from easy listening, a powerfulness laced with irony and sarcasm and sweltering feeling in all of their songs.”Lithium Magazine

“The group has continued to push themselves creatively in new directions with each release.”All The Alt Things

“The Aquadolls have managed to piece together an anthem-in-waiting. Powered by woozy chords and a hazy soundscape set atop delicate but resonating vocals, ‘Disappearing Girl’ feels as though it’s been delivered to us fresh from (a) distant dream. Fingers crossed that world domination is part of their plan.”Blunt Mag

“A shimmering piece of indie rock, “Disappearing Girl” is built on fizzling layers of percussions as The Aquadolls toy with the raw elements garage and chest-swelling air of dream rock.”Aupium

“A punk rock power ballad doesn’t sound like it could be possible, but The Aquadolls somehow pull off the impossible.”If It’s Too Loud

“…energetic and infectious. They’re better than caffeine.”Illinois Entertainer

The Aquadolls online: