Yes, this is ANOTHER 311 post from me. This one is to explain to you the amazingness that transpired on 03-10 and 03-11-12 in Las Vegas Nevada. For those of you who do not know, the band 311 has been celebrating “311 Day” with a show that happens on the date 03-11, every two years for a while now. This is a show that is like no other. Fans from many states and even other countries make the trek to see the band put on a spectacular show. These events include pre-show fan parties, on-stage performers like specialist drummers, dancers and many other antics. I have now been to three(2008, 2010, 2012), and this was by far the best.

In the past, the festivities were held in New Orleans primarily, but due to a scheduling conflict with a worldwide dental conference(so we heard) the venue has been moved to Las Vegas the last two times. I’m ok with that. I can drive there!!  The event took place at The MGM Grand Garden Arena. This year’s show was even better for the true fan, because not only did we get a 311 Day set, we got a warm up tour and a 3/10 show as well. This means that 311 played 79 songs over the course of two nights. Each night indulged us with TWO sets as well.

 

Night one was amazing. From the special songs, rarities( oh and Nick Hexum covering Bob Marley’s Waiting in Vain), the intense and pure energy that radiated from the crowd, we knew this would be fabulous. A serious high point in the show is always Pnut’s bass solo. He added a new level of amazing this time. He took his bass solo on a trip around the ENTIRE venue. This place holds an estimated 17,000 people. Pnut walked off of the stage, and circled the lower bowl while slapping his bass along the way. This was an incredible moment as the ecstatic fans surrounded him, not hindering him, cheering and reveling in what they were witnessing.  Night one saw historical debuts, including “Time is Precious” and “Old Funk” which featured Nick Hexum on the piano.  The band also did a sweet reggae remix of “Sunset in July”, much to the delight of fans. A few songs added extra percussion talents with the group Beat Squad joining 311 on stage . During the break, the 2012 Summer Unity Tour with Slightly Stoopid was announced. This is a great match-up, and makes total sense to me. Thirty-nine songs later, the night ended with a countdown to “311 Day”. It was mildly comical that we were actually 6-7 minutes into 3-11-12 when the countdown began, but we all cheered along with the screens and shouted anyway. Here is the Night One setlist:

SET I:

1. Omaha Stylee (With Intro)
2. Do You Right
3. Time Bomb
4. Taiyed
(311th time played)
5. Evolution
(Last played 3/23/00)
6. Salsa

7. Large in the Margin
8. Starshines
9. 1, 2, 3
10. Sweet
11. Time Is Precious 
(Setlist debut – Unreleased Evolver B-Side)
12. Don’t Stay Home
13. Something Out of Nothing
14. P-Nut Bass Solo > Coda
(With P-Nut walking around the entire lower bowl playing his solo)
15. Nutsymptom
16. I’ll Be Here Awhile

17. Right Now (Last played 3/11/08)
18. My Stoney Baby
19. T & P Combo
20. Mindspin

*** INTERMISSION ***
– Announcement of 2012 Summer Unity Tour w/ Slightly Stoopid

SET II:

21. Freak Out (Featuring Beat Squad Drumline)
22. Soulsucker
(Last played 8/17/03)
23. Today My Love
(Last played 3/11/08)
24. Wild Nights
25. Freeze Time
26. Thank Your Lucky Stars
(Last played 8/17/06)
27. Full Ride
28. Hostile Apostle
29. Dancehall
(Last played 4/15/02)
30. Transistor
31. Inner Light Spectrum
32. Waiting In Vain
(Solo Bob Marley cover by Nick w/ electric guitar)
33. Six
34. Sunset In July
(Supa Dups Reggae Remix Version)
35. Hydroponic
36. Nix Hex
(With Nick on Fender Rhodes piano and extended intro/outros)
37. Old Funk 
(Setlist debut – Unreleased Transistor B-Side, Nick on piano)
38. Welcome
(With Nick on piano for intro jam)
e:
(Sick Tight) –
On stage setlist with question marks, but not played
39. Jackpot
(Ringing in 311 Day with a countdown, Beat Squad returns)
(courtesy of the www.311.com website)

 

If you’re overwhelmed already, rest assured, we all were too. There is nothing like seeing a band play 39 songs, meeting up with your friends who have actually become your family all while knowing there is a SECOND night of music awaiting you. I know that there are other bands that play extended sets, give each show their all, and make magic on stage too. But, this band has a backing of thousands of people from all over the world who are willing to travel to see them nearly anywhere. It’s more than a band, fans, a crowd. It’s a unique family. And for night two of the reunion, we were again spoiled as can be.

Night Two kicked off with “Down”. Predictable, but hey it’s a “classic” isn’t it?  I started this night off in the pit with about 15 other photographers, all of which were fans of the band. It’s always nice to shoot along side people who “get it”. We also got another debut, “Firewater” was played live for the first time.  Other highlights included “Beyond The Grey Sky” where Nick asked for all the lighters int he crowd to be displayed. I chuckled watching the guys in front of me (fellow Utahns I might add) trying to download the “Zippo Ap” in a hurry.  One of my personal favorites, is the song “Too Much Too Fast”. We were honored to have this song debuted to us, and I am so glad I finally got to hear this song live.

For the second set, 311 brought out another group of specialty instrumentalists, “The Unity Percussion Ensemble”. The seven-piece ensemble added so much to the songs, complete with xylophones and many other percussion instruments. I did get a little giddy too, when they played “Gap” and dedicated it to all the people who have 311 ink(yes, I’m that big of a 311 geek that I’ve permanently marked my body with related art). The second night included highly-requeseted songs like  “Use of Time”, “8:16 AM” , and “Jupiter”. We were certainly feeling the Transistor love that night. After thirty-nine songs, 311 finished off the incredible evening with well-loved encore song, “Feels So Good”. At the end of the song, confetti cannons boomed, and colored paper fell onto a group of people who can be summed up with they lyric “Now I  got a clique it’s more like a family” . If you weren’t feeling the love, feeling included, or feeling the radiant energy that was happening, you must have been dead. Here is a look at the setlist for Night Two:

SET I:

1. Down
2. Rock On
3. Grassroots
4. Hive
5. Sever
6. Off Beat Bare Ass
7. Amber
8. Firewater (Setlist debut)
9. You Wouldn’t Believe
10. And A Ways to Go
11. Applied Science
(Mobile drum platform moved to front of the stage for Chad’s solo portion)
12. Jupiter
13. There’s Always an Excuse
(Last played 10/31/10)
14. Brodels
15. Trouble
16. Still Dreaming
17. Beyond the Gray Sky
18. Creatures (For a While)

*** INTERMISSION ***

SET II:

– First four songs featured the seven-piece “Unity Percussion Ensemble”
19. Cali Soca
(Last played 8/29/07)
20. Speak Easy
21. Stealing Happy Hours
22. Life’s Not a Race

23. Use of Time
24.Too Much Too Fast (Setlist debut)
25. Lucky
26. Don’t Let Me Down
27. 8:16 AM
28. Beautiful Disaster
29. Uncalm
30. Juan Bond
(Last played 3/11/08 – Blue Album B-Side)
31. Eons
32. I Told Myself
33. All Mixed Up
34. Gap
(Dedicated to all of the 311 fans with ink)
35. Homebrew
36. Who’s Got the Herb?
(With rock ending)
37. Livin’ & Rockin’
38. Random
(“We wanted to end the show with something…Random”)
e:
39. Sometimes Jacks Rule the Realm
(Last played 3/11/06)
40. Feels So Good
(With confetti canons to end the show)

(again, thanks to the www.311.com website for the complete list)

A road trip, flight, or trek to see a band in another state often sounds crazy to people. Especially if you saw them last summer, and a week before you drive to Vegas to see them again. I can’t tell you what it is that brings us all together, but I wish there were more of it to go around. There is nothing like being in a group of thousands of people that are united by the simple love of music. The people that become your friends and family are more than worth the cost of the tickets, hotels, etc. This event is a special experience for the fans, and we can at the very least, say thank you. See you at the shows!!!!

Check out my photos below, as well as a link to the other incredible photos of the photographers who captured this event. To see Night One, click here. To see Night Two, click here.

I am a freelance photographer in Salt Lake City Utah. I love music of all types. I\'ve shot many bands, and I also write and take nature photos. My favorite band is 311.
Meredith
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Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 12:25 pm.
Categories: Reviews.

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