Thursday, July 19, 2007

Unity Tour headed for the Amphitheatre (TBN Weekly)

TAMPA - 311 with special guest Matisyahu brings the Unity Tour 2007 to the Ford Amphitheatre on Wednesday, July 18, 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $37.50, general admission dance floor; $35 and $25, reserved seats; and $20 festival lawn and available at the Ford Amphitheatre Box Office, online at and, and all Ticketmaster locations, including FYE and Spec's Music, or charge by phone by calling at 813-287-8844 or 727-898-2100.

311 return to the road, and they are fired-up and ready to make this an amazing summer tour. Formed more than 15 years ago in Omaha, 311 are pioneers of mixing rap, reggae, funk and metal to create their own unique blend of vibe music.

The band is composed of five self-described “friends for life” (singer and guitarist Nick Hexum, singer S.A. Martinez, guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton and the bassist known only as P-Nut) whose common link was a passion for both music and life. It was this philosophy that eventually brought them together to make music with a positive message behind it.

They have sold millions of albums and even had a video certified platinum, all serving as a strong testament to the unique relationship 311 has with its fans.

“When we first started the band, we were always sure something good was going to happen,” said drummer Chad Sexton. “And we’ve never gone backwards in any way since.”

Hailing from Brooklyn NY, Matisyahu brings his electrifying fusion of reggae and rock with an unbelievable energy and positivity. When Matisyahu emerged with his debut album, Shake Off the Dust ... Arise, in 2004, his musical persona seemed to some a novelty. Here was a Hasidic Jew, dressed in a black suit with a broad-brimmed black hat worn over a yarmulke, and sporting a full, untrimmed beard, who nevertheless performed toasting raps about the glories of traditional Judaism over reggae beats in a dancehall style directly from Jamaica, punctuating his performances with stage diving.

It may have seemed like a joke at first, but Matisyahu was serious, and he began to attract press notices to go with the enthusiastic audiences that packed his concerts. Breaking big on the scene with his song "King Without A Crown", Matisyahu delivered an original, uplifting, powerful performance. Matisyahu toured around the country and prepared a second studio album produced by Bill Laswell. The final product, Youth, appeared in March 2006 and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Reggae Album.”