See Tal Wilkenfeld play Wish You Were Here, Anna Molly with Incubus in first live show with the band

Tal Wilkenfeld performs onstage
(Image credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Across the Great Divide)

Last week, it was announced that Australian bass guitar maestro Tal Wilkenfeld would join alt-rock outfit Incubus for a run of live shows, while the band’s long-serving bassist, Ben Kenney, recovered from brain surgery.

Now, footage from the Wilkenfeld-featuring group’s first outing has emerged online, with the new-look lineup taking the stage at Costa Rica’s Picnic Festival last Saturday (January 28).

The 15-song show saw Wilkenfeld and co. serve up a range of Incubus setlist stalwarts, including Nice to Know You, Wish You Were Here and Anna Molly. Clips from all three songs have been posted online, capturing Wilkenfeld’s commanding low-end presence, as the Incubus “super-fan” slotted seamlessly into the group’s groove.

Wilkenfeld also posted a clip of the gig to her official Instagram, giving fans a better glimpse of what looked like a new tortoise shell pickguard-equipped blue Fender Precision Bass – as well as an abundance of effects pedal eye candy for pedalboard fanatics.

The young bass star also reposted a handful of short clips to her Instagram story, which will be viewable for a limited time before they expire.

Elsewhere, the setlist also included the likes of Circles, Sick Sad Little World and Megalomaniac, with the band settling on a performance of their 1999 track Drive, which is lifted from their Make Yourself album, for their finale.

Wilkenfeld will play five more shows with Incubus as the band completes a short run of tour dates across North America over the next few days. Their next show is scheduled for tomorrow (January 31) in Corpus Christi, Texas, and will be followed by concerts in San Antonio, Houston and New Orleans on consecutive days from February 2.

Incubus confirmed Wilkenfeld’s temporary appointment in a statement late last week, after it was revealed that Kenney is currently recovering from a recent brain surgery.

In a statement posted to his own social media page, Kenney wrote, “Unfortunately last year I found out I had a brain tumor. As soon as I got home from tour I had a successful operation to have it removed. 

“This year I am taking some time away from touring & social media to recover. “My friend @talmeastory is taking over the bass with @incubusofficial while I’m away. I won’t physically be at the shows but I will be there in spirit. I miss you all and I hope you and your loved ones are safe and in good health.”

Wilkenfeld was a sensible choice for Kenney’s replacement. Back in 2020, she teamed up with guitarist Mike Einziger for a virtual lockdown jam, during which she called herself an Incubus "super-fan."

It’s the latest high-profile session spot for Wilkenfeld, whose credits include performing with Prince, Herbie Hancock, Steve Lukather and, perhaps her most prominent role, the late Jeff Beck.

After Beck passed away earlier this month, the bassist paid tribute to her former bandmate, saying, “We’ve lost our favorite guitarist, and one of the most intelligent, intuitive people I’ve ever met.”

Head over to Incubus's website for a full list of the band's upcoming tour dates.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.