It was down to the last three tour dates of the rare fall tour and 311 brought the party! I go to a decent amount of shows and I’ve got to say, that was one of the funnest shows I’ve been to in a long time. 311 is just one of those bands that give you a little taste of everything. Hip hop, reggae, metal, love songs… they are just as versatile a band as one could find. The fact that 27 years and 12 studio albums later they are still absolutely bringing it, is so refreshing! I’ve seen so many bands fall off over the years. They come, they go. But 311 came and has stayed. I don’t believe they’re going anywhere anytime soon either. When you go to a 311 show you can always expect a party, just as if it were 20 years ago.
The stage back drop was a giant wall of LED lights that seemed to pulse and flow seamlessly with whichever song 311 was playing. During the song “Amber”, the lights gave off a subtle amber glow and the place was filled with that glow… amber was the color of the energy as well as the warm and uplifting vibe. Although warm and cuddly wasn’t the only vibe they were putting off. Songs that, back in the day, never seemed overly heavy to me were absolutely huge sounding and hard! Like the song “Electricity” from 1997’s hit album “Transistor”, way heavier than I ever remember that song being. It MAKES you head bang. I smile thinking about just how fun that show was. The song “Too Late” from 311’s most recent studio album “Mosaic” was probably one of the most gangster 311 songs I’ve heard and you wouldn’t think that from the way it starts. It’s bouncy and melodic and chill, but then when the chorus hits, BOOM… GANGSTER! That song totally blew me away live. The end/breakdown of the song was just absolutely heavy! Yeah, I was (and still am) pretty excited about that one for sure.
In the middle of their set following the spectacular drum solo of the always phenomenal Chad Sexton, the road crew brought out percussion kits for each member to then jam along with Chad on a rhythmic groove that gave way to the guys tossing their drum sticks through the air to each other. Perfectly in sequence with the drum pattern with seemingly none of them missing a beat or dropping a stick. When you’ve been amazingly talented for as long as 311 has been, it’s easy to see why they make it look so easy.
The third single performed from 1997’s ‘Transistor’ album was the song “Beautiful Disaster”. This was clearly one of the biggest hits of the night, with pretty much every member of the audience belting out the lyrics. “Beautiful Disaster” was another one of those songs from the set that was absolutely heavy. They have got their sound dialed and locked in and it’s wonderful. Everything stands out the way that it should. Guitarist Tim Mahoney carries such beautiful melodies through his PRS. With pristine clean tones, delays, and reverbs that could easily put you in a trance, he can quickly switch it up and get dirty and down right metal. P-Nut has been “beating that thang” for quite some time and it’s always just a pleasure to watch that guy play. His funky poppin’ and slappin’ will pretty much have your head bobbing and you wouldn’t even know it. It’s as if he’s in tune with the funk and groove in your soul. SA Martinez was bustin’ out his funky fresh flows, and doing “the robot” (dance) across the stage, while also sneaking off towards the back of the stage and jumping on the wheels of steel and scratching it up.
And of course, you’ve got the rhythmic flows and vocal harmonies of Nick Hexum getting people to move! Jumping up and down and even grabbing his guitar for a few songs and rocking out. This show was wonderful. I expected a great show and it exceeded those expectations. Already looking forward to seeing them next time.
Bottom line is, if you want amazing music and you want to groove, get down, headbang, smile, laugh, sing-a-long and witness some serious talent by phenomenal musicians… go to a 311 SHOW!! Their fall tour just wrapped up but you can bet your ass that they’ll be coming back soon, epecially with 311 Day coming up! Stay Tuned!
Do You Right
All Mixed Up
Large in the Margin
Face in the Wind
Don’t Stay Home
Till The City’s on Fire
Too Much To Think
One & the Same
– Jeremy Hinskton – Sik Imagery