Concert review by Gil Perez
It was August 25th, 2012 and 311 returned to the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater as part of the Unity Tour. They appeared in front of a near capacity crowd, bringing with them local favorites, Slightly Stoopid, and Arlington Virginia’s own, SOJA. It was going to be an exciting night full of alternative tunes as well as reggae, ska, and funk inspired music.
SOJA took the stage as the crowd was beginning to file into their seats. Their reggae inspired set kept the crowd on their feet, dancing, swaying, and of course, smoking to the classic, rhythmic pulses of the irie beat.
Next up on the bill was San Diego county’s own, Slightly Stoopid. The crowd erupted in applause as the band took to the stage. One of the most interesting things about this performance was vocal range of the band members, and the switching of instrument duties between Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald. Their set-list was comprised of both original material and few cover songs, including a quick tribute to Nirvana. You could tell the average age of the crowd, when most of the fans in the pit area were seen scratching their heads trying to figure out what song or what band that originally came from. Their fans lost their minds to 2am and Top of the World. Needless to say, Slightly Stoopid put on a very good set!
The cool surfer looking dudes left the stage, then in a flash… and to the screams of their fans, the boys from Omaha appeared front and center. The first couple phrases of their song, All Mixed Up, rang through the PA system, as the lights came up, and the crowd leapt from their seats.
Overall, their performance was solid from start to finish. Their set was ripe with all the hits, from their first album, Music, to their latest release, Universal Pulse. Lead singer Nick Hexum kept the crowd on their feet as the crowd sang along through the entire set.
Due to their musical versatility, 311 continues to be relevant. What is most impressive, their devotion to their fans is evident. It is easy to see why groups of fans follow them from state to state. They’ve quietly developed a cult-like following similar to those of bands like The Grateful Dead, Phish, and The Dave Matthews Band.
In the end, the crowd heard the tunes they came to hear. Songs like All Mixed Up, Don’t Tread On Me, Beautiful Disaster, I’ll Be Here Awhile, Come Original, Sunset in July, Amber, and Time Bomb. Their encore featured The Gray Sky and Down. It may not have been March 11th (311 day), but the crowd definitely got their monies worth and left the Cricket with smiles on their faces from head to toe!
The Unity Tour wraps up in early September, in Seattle. The band gets a short break before embarking on a Caribbean cruise tour, in March. These venues have become popular with fans, and bands alike. Who doesn’t want to go on a mini vacation with their favorite band? Sign me up!
311 is currently on the Unity Tour and in support of their album Universal Pulse.
You can read all there is to know about 311 and even vacation with them by going to their websites at www.311.com and www.311cruise.com. Their social media pages can be found at FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter. You can pick up their music in stores, or on iTunes and a variety of other online sources.