It’s the time of year where I’m in heaven. 311 Heaven. The band is doing a spring tour making their way to Las Vegas for 311 this week. Lucky for me, this usually includes a stop in Wendover. Wendover is the child of Utah and Nevada. We share custody, but undoubtedly, Nevada gets the cool part. It is home to casinos and free drinks while you gamble. It also houses the Peppermill Concert Hall. This venue, while hosting bands like Kansas and Styx, also knows how to throw a great 311 party.
The night started off with DJ Trichrome. He was spinning some awesome reggae beats off of actual 45s. It was nice to hear vinyl. I was getting a kick out how he would tell us the years that the tunes were made, once saying, “this is back from 1985”. Haha, that’s not that long ago, is it? I’m getting old. Anyway, he is a talented DJ and amped up the crowd by repeatedly asking us if we were “ready for 311”? Me? BORN READY.
So after about 30-40 minutes of reggae awesomeness, the lights went down and 311 took the large stage. They opened with “Beautiful Disaster”. Right away, you could tell this was going to be a blast. Obviously, I’m a fan. But, there were others, lots of others, jumping and singing and thoroughly enjoying the show. 311 busted out a pretty diverse setlist, covering several albums and played one of my all-time favorite songs, “Stealing Happy Hours”. Here is the official setlist:
1. Beautiful Disaster
3. All Mixed Up
8. Come Original
9. Rock On
11. Stealing Happy Hours
12. Applied Science
13. You Wouldn’t Believe
16. Rub A Dub
17. Freeze Time
21. Who’s Got The Herb
22. Creatures (For a While)
It should be noted that Grassroots has not been played since 08/19/06, per the 311.com website.
I think that the best part of this show was Chad Sexton’s drum solo during “Applied Science”. He used what appeared to be an electric drum head to make some of the most unique music I’ve heard. There was an Asian flare to the whole solo, some audience members quipped that they were listening to the music from video game Mortal Kombat. Chad continues to amaze me. I’ve been seeing 311 since 1997, and the band is constantly growing and exploring themselves, while staying true to their “grassroots”. The rest of the band joined in on the solo. This time, we had gongs. That was a really neat twist. They’ve used a gong before I believe, but they each had smaller, squared gongs. This just added a really different sound that I quite enjoyed.
Of course, no 311 show is complete without a P-Nut bass solo. He pulled out all of the stops and blew the crowd away both with skill and sound. Like I said before, they get better EVERY time you see them perform. And Tim Mahoney, as always, was spectacular. He is a gifted guitarist. He had some very impressive solos and played off of the energy Nick Hexum was radiating. They came together on stage for parf of “Beautiful Disaster” and I watched Nick mouth the words “that’s nice” which I captured here:
All in all, I was very happy to have been able to both attend and shoot this show. There is no more delight in a photographer’s life in my opinion, than to stand next to, or in front of the people who make you the most happy, and snap photos of them. I am honored to share with you my photo gallery from the set. Two more stops: Lake Tahoe and Sacremento, then the magical event 311 day 2012 can begin. I know myself and several of my friends from across the USA have been counting down to this since 2010! Can’t wait to get on the road and see the show! Enjoy the photos below.