Here we are again from the great state of Utah, often overlooked for its live music scene and great venues. This time I get to share with you a review of my most favorite band, and some of my best ever photos. It’s my favorite tour of the summer, Unity Tour, which means one thing, and only one thing: 311 has come back to play for ME!
311 has this awesome habit of coming to Utah at least once a year, sometimes we’re lucky and get a spring tour stop as well. The boys have just come off the the first-ever Pow Wow Festival which was held in early August in Florida. The festival featured guests Sublime with Rome. Those of us who couldn’t make it were glad to know that Sublime and Rome were on the books for Unity Tour. On a very hot Wednesday evening on 08/17/11, Sublime opened for 311. I must say, I am most impressed with the shoes that Rome is filling. He has taken the role of front man for Sublime and made a seamless transition. I don’t get the feeling at all that he is trying to be Bradley, better than Bradley, or any of that crap. Rome is his own man, and he sings a hell of a song. The band serenaded us with good ol’ favorites like “Date Rape”, “What I Got” and even the new single “Panic”. There were plenty of people singing along with ALL of the songs, and what a great way to kick off this show.
Now that the crowd was sufficiently ready, willing, and able, my boys took the stage. I was down in the photo pit. I’ve shot for 311 before, but I have to say that this was honestly my most favorite time. The crowd was amped. People were holding signs up for songs “Cali Soca” and “Juan Bond”, while others did the standard “311, 3-3-11” chant. I joined in because hey, just because I’m in the photo pit doesn’t me I can’t have fun. When Nick Hexum came out and the song “Hive” commenced, the crowd instantly compacted. SA Martinez, the other half of the vocals, nailed every word and danced his ass off. This opening song brought so much energy, and the crowd of about 18,000 came alive.
The band continued playing an array of songs, including some off of the newly released “Universal Pulse”, as well as what I would call rarities like “Electricity” off of Transistor. Salt Lake was lucky enough to get “Who’s Got the Herb” which usually is initiated with a chant of the title(followed by aromas and clouds of smoke, duh). Other highlights were “Come Original”, “Jupiter”, “All Mixed Up” and even “Six”. 311 kept the songs flowing with a fabulous drum solo by Chad Sexton, a bass solo that was the best I’ve heard from P-nut, and a group drum session including Tim Mahoney that has become a crowd favorite. We also were indulged with a 3-song encore featuring “Jackpot”, “Rock On” and “Creatures”.
As you can tell, I enjoyed the show. I enjoy it every year. 311 is a very fan-oriented band. They have events just for us. Upcoming awesome things: 311 Day 2012 in Las Vegas(a two-night show that usually covers 60 or more songs) and a 2012 311 cruise. Check out www.311.com for all details. Also, please enjoy some(well, 34 or so) photos below.