Tuesday, December 20, 2011

311 Rocks The Valley! (Little Rat Bastard)

On the 9th of December, I had the extreme pleasure of covering one of my personal favorite bands, 311. When I found out that they were coming to the valley I immediately put in my request to The J. A couple days later I received the “OK” in an e-mail, stating that I was on the guest list as well as a time frame of when who was going on. After reading it a couple times, because of the excitement, I soon realized that there was 2 set’s that 311 would be playing. Soon after that I lost my lid and got even more excited. I started going through all of their tracks in my head wondering which ones they would perform. I was really hoping they would play a lot of their older stuff from their self titled album, which in fact they did. They have never disappointed and have always come through on all of the great songs.

After shooting the 3 songs, I returned to my seat but I felt like I was stumbling all over the place…second hand smoke. The place was one giant hot box, but that is quite honestly expected at a 311 show! To my surprise no one was removed from the venue and they were not shy about where and what they were lighting up! For me, a $6 beer was good enough to enjoy the show.

We were on our feet damn near close to the entire show because of the set list. They kept mixing it up from old to new to older to newest. Once I finally calmed down and tried to take it all in I looked around the venue and noticed the crowd. It was a good mix of older and younger people. From my experience, I’ve noticed the older generation will generally be in the crowd. I did notice a couple father/son attendees which I thought was real cool! It made me happy to see that just because my generation can share what we went through in the 1990′s to the younger thundercats and keep great music and musicians going through the ages!

Recommendation, if you haven’t checked out a live 311 show, do so. You will not be disappointed and have a blast! They have such raw talent and all of them, Nick, S.A., Tim, P-Nut and Chad will keep you entertained for hours!!! Just wait until they all get on the percussions and P-Nut “beats that thang.”


Monday, December 19, 2011

A Martinez Music Legacy: 311′s SA Martinez Takes a Music Tradition Laid Down by His Father and Grandfather in a New Direction (The Reader, Omaha)

Singer-songwriter-turntable artist SA Martinez is a cog in the successful rock band 311 that started in Omaha 21 years ago and is still going strong today from its Southern Calif.-base. Recordings and national tours keep the group, whose founding members remain intact, a popular draw.

While he’s reached musical heights, SA is not the first professional musician in his family. His father Ernie Martinez and late paternal grandfather Jose Martinez preceded him. SA feels part of “a legacy” that extends to his musical siblings.

“We always loved music. We all did it, sang it, performed, whatever…just always had nothing but great times with music. It was just a constant,” says Martinez.

He has only “vague memories” of his grandfather, but he does have his old mandolin as a link to the man and the music.

“I’ll look at the mandolin and wonder just exactly how he came into possession of it and what songs was he playing on this thing.”

Sure, SA’s, a rock star, but his elders made their marks on their own terms.

Jose Bonificia Martinez emigrated from Mexico to the U.S. in the early 1900s. He worked as a water boy on the railroad in Texas before migrating to Gary, Indiana, where he landed in the steel mills. In Sioux City, Iowa, he worked in a packing house and played music on weekends. Ernie marvels that his father learned to play the mandolin, fiddle, upright bass and guitar. Jose met his wife Helen, Ernie’s mother, in Sioux City.

After moving to Omaha in 1930, Jose worked the slaughter house kill floor and played in a band that performed South Omaha house parties.

“I remember him telling me they’d cross the river into Council Bluffs to play festivals in the Hispanic section,” recalls Ernie, who was born in Omaha.

Tired of the dirty, dangerous, backbreaking kill floor, Jose became a hired hand for a livestock producer in Gibbon, Neb., where Ernie and his siblings grew up. Jose found a measure of fame fronting his own band, The Kid and His Friends, on a live show broadcast by KGFW radio in Kearney, Neb. and sponsored by a feed store. The signal reached deep into the Platte Valley, bringing the band new gigs at festivals and fairs.

By the early 1950s Ernie began gravitating to music himself. “I listened to a radio broadcast out of New Orleans coming from the Roosevelt Hotel every Friday night — Tony Almerico and his (Original Dixieland Jamboree All Stars) band.”

Ernie learned to play “off the radio” — “I’d get the note from the first chord they played and I’d go from there. Somehow my dad had acquired an upright bass from a traveling salesman and he built me a little stool and I’d jump up on that stool and start messing around with my fingers, thumping away. Then he’d take me down, put the bass away and he’d show me a few chords on the guitar.”

Fast forward three decades later and Ernie, by then a journeyman jazz guitarist with local house bands, was schooling SA.

“We’d sit down on occasion and he’d try to teach me something, but he didn’t honestly have any patience when it came to instructing on an instrument,” says SA. “I remember setting his stuff up in the basement and kind of tooling around on it and just having fun.”

SA grew up steeped in his father’s sideman life.

“Come the weekend he was getting ready to go play somewhere. I just remember that whole era of the ‘70s — the polyester suits, the jewelry, the cologne. Before he’d go out he’d pat my face with some cologne.”

He came to respect his old man’s chops.

“My dad played bass growing up but he’s really a better guitarist and the style of guitar he plays is very wide actually. He can play like the Wes Montgomery, really dope jazz chords. cool and rich sounding, and then he can bust into some cool folk Mexican stuff. He definitely has a pretty deep memory.

“He had a couple buddies who’d come over from time to time. Johnny Vintore played keyboards. Another guy by the name of Charlie Davis played trombone. Just really cool dudes with loads of talent. They had their good times. It’s really cool thinking back on that whole scene.”

Ernie, who worked a regular job at a truck line, gigged at night spots when Omaha was still a hopping live music hub.

SA never saw his dad on stage, but often witnessed him practice or jam at home. He also absorbed the jazz tunes his pops spun, instilling an appreciation for the standards. Together, they “listened religiously” to KVNO radio’s Primetime Jazz hosted by Bill Watts

“Man, that was a killer show and he played like the bomb jazz,” recalls SA. “We loved listening to that show.”

Immersed in music at home and at school, where he played viola and trumpet and sang, SA was destined for a life in music. “It’s weird, I always kind of knew in the back of my mind something like that would surface for me, I just didn’t know when or how.” 311 took off in the ‘90s here at the Ranch Bowl and the Peony Park Ballroom. He ascribes the group’s unusual longevity to “chemistry” and “just hard work.”

“It really is an experience I’m blessed to be a part of. It’s a never ending rock ‘n’ roll fantasy.”

Last July, 311 had its first homecoming show in a long time when it played the Red Sky Music Festival at TD Ameritrade Park. SA says entertaining family and friends after a show like that is more draining then the concert itself. “But it’s a lot of fun.”

His parents return the favor by visiting him on the coast, where father and son always find time to play a few licks. SA invariably breaks out the old bass his dad owned.
SA’s daughter shows signs of continuing this unbroken line of Martinez music makers. “She loves it. She lights up,” SA says. Ernie’s proud it’s lasted four generations, saying, “It amazes me what my dad started.”

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Live - 311: 12-9-11 (The Pier)

Date: Friday, December 9th, 2011
Line up: 311 & DJ Soulman
Location: Comerica Theatre. Phoenix, AZ

There are no questions about how spectacular a 311 performance truly is. Some fans go to concerts, but 311 puts on a show, and still remains one of the greatest live acts of our generation. On the final full show of their fall tour, Phoenix received bonus music from 311 with 2-full sets of songs, reaching 30 extended live tracks and interludes.

Comerica Theatre in Downtown Phoenix was buzzing prior to doors opening, and even when DJ Soulman from Phoenix manned the turntables inside the venue, the crowd was in a frenzy. It was simple for the crowd to raise their level of excitement as Soulman played classic rock ballads and new-school alternative rock hits ranging from Ozzy Osborne, Led Zeppelin to Rage Against The Machine and plenty of others.

Once the arena was filled to the brim, 311 quickly transformed the club atmosphere into a large-scale festival that would have been ideal for Lallapalooza or Woodstock. The lighting for Phoenix’s showcase was unparalleled. The sound system was top-tier and 311 wouldn’t have it any other way for their double set of live music.

As Nick Hexum (vocals and guitar) led out the other four members of 311 the noise was deafening, with nearly unending cheers and chants of “3-11, 3-3-11…!” For a moment it appeared P-Nut (bass), Tim Mahoney (guitar) and SA Martinez (vocals and DJ) would gaze out into the crowd while absorbing the unending outpour of gratitude. But, it wasn’t long before Chad Sexton (drums) laid down the first beat for “Do You Right”.

There is one thing about 311’s extensive catalog, as a fan, one never knows what to expect from 311’s set list. Friday night followed suit in a similar style. Old Grassroots songs were featured, as well as 1993’s Music had more than a handful featured. With their constantly growing fan base, 311 tapped into every fans soul as they ran through their extensive musical collection, while not leaving out their latest highly acclaimed hit “Sunset in July”.

After releasing their accompanying video for that song over the summer, 311 could have recorded their live performance from Phoenix, and the sound would have been eerily similar. With all of 311’s touring and evolution in the studio, they are no longer performers of music; they are Doctors of the musical sound, at this stage of their careers.

As they unleashed “Come Original” on Downtown Phoenix, that sentiment was apparent throughout the theatre. The crowd was bouncing in rhythm with SA Martinez and Hexum, as nearly every lyric was echoing off the walls. It was an unblemished 311 party as “Freeze Time” and the soulful “8:16 AM” bellowed through the speakers.

For every 311 appearance, something new and unheard of always stands out from their show. On such an occasion, a double set with all the bells and whistles of the highly anticipated 311 Day were present. Bass solos by P-Nut that typically last around one minute were extended to upwards of three minutes, perhaps even three minutes and eleven seconds, but who’s counting?

Along with P-Nut reminding us of the fact that he is one of the premier bass players in the music industry today, his rhythm partner Chad Sexton nearly brought the house down with his drum solo in the second set. But before 311 highlighted their mystifying drumming, a ten-foot-tall bass drum and assorted Latin percussion sets were wheeled out to the front of the stage. The electrical instruments were put aside for a moment as 311’s range and complete mastery of their musical sound flourished. It would be easy to say the crowd cheered on end, but fans in attendance were simply exuberant, maybe even at a loss for words other than, “Oh, my god!”

311 brings a sense of comfort over the crowd, yet still manages to amplify and encourage the most rowdy of fans to bounce and mosh throughout every song. Once the fans caught their breath from the drum circus on stage, 311 seamlessly transitioned into an extended version of another old ditty, “Applied Science”. It was a blast from the past as “All Mixed Up” rang through the crowd, and everyone strapped on their dancing shoes for the timeless hit, but the excitement wasn’t even close to concluding.

After all, “Beautiful Disaster” was yet to be unleashed, and then it happened. The rugged guitar licks of the intro turned the crowd up another notch, something that appeared impossible before the song. It was the height of 311’s set as “Beautiful Disaster” led into perhaps 311’s most infamous song, “Down”.

With over 25 songs already under their belt, 311 exited the stage as pandemonium broke out in the crowd. The lights were dim for only a second, as the Omaha natives returned for another twenty minutes. For some touring acts, it might be difficult to fill three hours of music into one performance, but 311 could have played for another three hours with ease. And no one in the crowd would have left.

It was only appropriate for the last song of the night to be “Creatures (For A While)”. The atmosphere was rambunctious, yet still controlled by the sound coming from the stage. The 5,000-seat capacity theatre remained full, even after the last note was played. For a brief moment, it appeared 311 was going to return for another handful of songs, but Nick Hexum returned to the microphone to thank the fans for coming out for their final show of the tour and making it the most memorable one yet.

If Friday night in Phoenix was any indication, the upcoming 311 Day in Las Vegas, complete with three days of live music, should be absolutely astonishing!


Friday, December 2, 2011

311's Hexum looks forward to KROQ's 'Acoustic Christmas' (Daily Breeze)

Singer and guitarist Nick Hexum has gotten into the holiday spirit with KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas a number of times.

So it's no surprise he will again be gracing the stage with his band 311 this year, as the 22nd annual two-day concert event kicks off Saturday at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City.

Hexum will be sharing the stage that evening with Blink-182, Bush, Chevelle, Incubus, New Found Glory, Social Distortion and Young the Giant.

Acts taking the stage the second night, Dec. 11, include the Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, Death Cab for Cutie, Florence + the Machine, Foster the People, Jane's Addiction, Mumford & Sons, the Naked and the Famous, and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

In an interview, Hexum discussed his band and KROQ's annual event.

Where did you get the name 311?

For a short period there was a different guitarist and he got arrested for indecent exposure, and the code of that crime was 311. We thought it was funny because he was brought home in handcuffs to his parents' (house) naked. So it was a funny story and it's the code for indecent exposure.

Your sound has a mix of genres. How would you describe it today and how has it evolved?

It keeps evolving and it's hard to know where it's going to go next. When people say "I can't wait to see where you guys go next," I'm kinda like "Yeah, me too." There are always new influences to incorporate in the music. If you had to pick one ingredient, we're a rock band. It's kind of a garage-band setting, but we take our instruments seriously like jazz players. We love reggae, we love hip-hop, electronic music, heavy music, it's all in there and whatever you listen to is going to come out in your writing. We've always felt that anything goes, whatever we like we can put into our music and it's that creative spirit that keeps us interested.

You guys released your 10th album in July. Which has been your favorite?

Well, the magic of for the first time, to go into a big studio and be on a label to record your debut album - I mean, that's a high of excitement that I don't think you can ever get back. We were so amped all the time to be doing that, it was definitely a great memory. And then different albums have had kind of a breakthrough feeling that we're really excited about.

Who writes the music?

I think it's been a collaborative effort. Some songs will be written by one person, other songs will be written by a couple people putting different riffs together. I think for me, I get better results if I try to write the words and the music at the exact same time. So that's kinda lately what I've been doing, but then there's also quite a bit of collaboration on the album so it's kinda tough to make a generalization of how it goes.

I read you end each show with the quote "Stay positive and love your life." Where did that come from?

It was just something that I said as sort of a parting well wish to the fans back early on. And then I put it in a lyric on the "Transistor" album. It was just nice parting words for our fans and we've always had a positive, I wanna say hippie, kind of ideal to us about bringing people together through music and being more on the positive side of things and appreciate what you have. And that's all kinda summed up in that little phrase.

What can people expect from your performance at KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas?

Well it's going to be a fun show because so many of the bands that we've been friends with forever are on that bill, and I mean it's really a killer, classic lineup. Only people that have been playing music that long can have the kind of performances that you're going to see that night. Because it's a radio show, you're going to hear the songs that have been on the radio and we'll just do a nice sampling of our entire career. It's definitely going to be a fun night.

This isn't the first year you've done it. What keeps you coming back?

Well, you know, we are on our own label and to maintain our relationship with KROQ. I mean, they were the first station to play us - our first single in 1993 was "Do You Right" and they played it on their own before anyone else did. So we have about an 18-year relationship with them and it's nice to know the programmers there by name and when you have a new song now they will give it a fair shot. So it's a relationship that we keep going.

Do you have any special holiday traditions?

You know, our family is growing quickly. We have two young baby daughters at home and I think this will be the first time they are old enough to really appreciate it, so it's going to definitely be a special Christmas.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

On the Town: 311 for the show (The Courier-Journal)

311 is the Great Plains version of Bob Marley, or maybe Ziggy. The band uses rock, reggae, hip-hop and funk — or, in other words, dance music — to deliver positive messages about peace and love. It’s no wonder that the band is huge on the jam-band circuit, but it may surprise some that 311 has sold more than 8.5 million albums, with six reaching the Billboard Top 10.

Now based out of Los Angeles, Nick Hexum, S.A. Martinez, Tim Mahong, Chad Sexton and P-Nut are performing Monday at the Louisville Palace with DJ Soulman. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets, from $32.50 to $43.50, are available at the venue box office, by telephone at (800) 745-3000 or on the Web at www.livenation.com and Ticketmaster.com.


Scott Yager’s Top Ten Albums Of 2011 (Campus Socialite)

8. 311 – Universal Pulse
By far the shortest album on this list, and the shortest album 311 has ever put out, Universal Pulse only contains eight songs. After speaking with both bassist P-Nut and vocalist SA Martinez, it’s clear the album is so short because they wanted to make sure that it was only filled with tracks that were WORTH being on the album, even if that meant coming up a bit short of what people have come to expect from the average LP. Both assured me there was little left on the cutting room floor and that the eight tracks that make up Universal Pulse represent the entire body of content that the band had created during this most recent attempt at adding to their beloved catalog.

311 is a band that tours almost every single year, and some years, like this one, they even went out more than once. 311 is also the type of band that rewards fans for following their career, playing songs from every album they have ever written, regardless of whether or not those songs were singles or hits. The first single from Universal Pulse was “Sunset in July”. For a lot of people, this album will simply be “That 311 Album w/ Sunset in July”, however the single is just one of eight songs that perfectly blend together to create one of 311’s most cohesive group of songs.

Earlier this year, the band put on a weekend-long festival during which they played their extremely lengthy and epic albumTransistor in its entirety, which at 21 tracks, is by far the longest album they have ever recorded. Conversely, this year also marked the release of the shortest 311 record, as the guys attempt to trim the fat and make sure that no songs are on the album just to add length. From the opening track “Time Bomb”, in which Tim Mahoney’s palm-muted guitar riff sounds like a funky rock version of a 90’s rap beat, all the way through the last two songs, “Weightless” and “And a Ways to Go”, two of the most melodic and elaborate 311 tracks ever composed, Universal Pulse comes together as a short and sweet reminder that 311 are five of the best musicians at their particular instruments.

When you have guys who know each other and their instrument so well, it’s a lot easier to produce a record that feels like it belongs just as much as its creators do. Although the days of major crossover hits like “Amber” and “All Mixed Up” might be over for 311, the guys have matured to a point that their goal isn’t just to produce albums that lend new concert-worthy tracks to their repertoire, but to produce an album in which ALL of the songs belong on a set list some day. With Universal Pulse the boys from Omaha Nebraska have done just that.

SA Martinez of 311 on recording the eight-track Universal Pulse and what makes this album special (from a Sound Magazine interview w/ SY conducted 10/25/11)

“I think really we were just kinda’ feelin’ it. Everything was just clicking. Just focusing on just a select group of songs, as opposed to trying to work, you know, 18 to 20 songs and then pulling from that. Just having the time to comb through those ideas is really why that record came together sounding so focused and so energized.” – SA Martinez of 311


Casino Scene: This Week's Headliners (Press of Atlantic City)

311 with DJ Soulman at Trump Taj Mahal

WHO ARE THEY: Formed in Omaha, Neb., in 1990, 311 fused rap, metal and reggae to create their own sound. The band released several hit albums including "Music" in 1992, "Grassroots" in 1993 and the self-titled album, known as "The Blue Album," in 1995. The self-titled release wound up selling 3 million copies in the United States and made it to No. 12 on the charts thanks in part to the singles "All Mixed Up" and "Down."

DJ Soulman first experienced success as the lead vocalist for the rap-rock group The Phunk Junkeez. With his solo career in full swing, DJ Soulman is now known throughout the world.

WHAT TO EXPECT: 311 has been doing things its own way since the band's formation more than two decades ago and continues to do so with its latest release, "Universal Pulse," which is a tight, condensed group of eight songs. Fans will get to hear plenty of new tracks at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. In addition to new material, concertgoers can also look forward to hearing hits such as "Down" and "All Mixed Up" as well as other songs from 311's back catalog. DJ Soulman will open the show.

WHAT'S NEW: 311 released "Universal Pulse" in July 2011. The album contains eight new tracks and is on the short side, clocking in at slightly under a half hour in length.

WEBSITES: www.311.com;



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Love, unity keep bringing 311′s fans back (Palm Beach Pulse)

Saturday night reggae/rock band 311 played Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton. Opening for the band was local guy DJ Soulman.

311 formed in 1988 in Omaha, Neb., but officially burst onto the scene in 1995 with their self-titled album and a song called “Down”.

I was still in elementary school then, but I’ve been hooked on 311 ever since. Their lyrics, melodies and amazing musical ability are hard to ignore. With a mix of alternative, reggae, rap, and rock (I’m confident there are some other genres that could easily apply) and their message of love and unity, 311 draws a crowd as diverse as the music they play.

Their show Saturday was no exception.

The band opened the show with the song “Beautiful Disaster” and continued on to play two sets – never wavering in their talent or energy.

One of my favorite parts of any 311 show is the group drum solo, where all five guys bang along together, drum-line style.

311 finishes out this leg of their tour with 10 more dates and a break before picking back up again in the Spring of 2012 to spread their message of unity and positivity.

And, as we saw Saturday, the band will personally call you out if you forget their message. One concertgoer was chastised by lead singer Nick Hexum for acting less than positive to others in attendance.

After all, 311 does say “Be positive with love. Just see the good in everybody.”

They play venues in our area regularly, so they’re definitely worth checking out the next time they’re in town.

In the meantime, there’s quite a number of 311 CDs to choose from to get your 311 fix. Their most recent album, Universal Pulse, was released this year and brings their album total to 10 studio releases, four compilations, four EPs and one live album.


311 to Support 'Universal Pulse' at The National (Richmond.com)

After more than two decades of shaping their reggae-infused rock sound and amassing a faithful fan base, when 311 headed to the studio to record this year’s “Universal Pulse” album, their approach was clear. 311 fans should hear what they love about the band in their new music as easily as they have with their earlier work.

“The focus, more and more, is just nurturing the audience that we already have and not necessarily bucking the trends—it’s more just kind of ignoring them,” said bassist Aaron “P-Nut” Wills, speaking from Los Angeles. “Playing more and more from our heart, trying to just squeeze out what we think our people want to hear from us, not this unseen audience of shadow figures that may or may not appreciate what we do.

“Why augment our creativity to fit into someone else’s sensibilities? We would rather just rock our people and have it spread word-of-mouth from them.”

After forming in 1988, 311’s recorded legacy began with 1990’s indie-label “Dammit!” album. Kicking off a string of gold or platinum albums with ’93’s “Music,” they hit a commercial peak with ’95’s “311,” which spawned radio favorites “Down” and “All Mixed Up.” With each album from that point having reached the Billboard top 10, P-Nut considers what he feels has led to the band maintaining their strong following over the years.

“It definitely starts, and probably ends, with the philosophies within, how people can connect with our solving-problems attitude,” the bassist mused. “It’s easier to smile than make things more difficult for yourself. If you’re going to put effort into both you might as well put the positive spin on it. In that way we’re not for everybody.

“As we were growing up and we were hearing all this angst music that we loved, as we were putting the band together it was like, ‘Wow, that’s not really us. We’re enjoying this. We’re having fun being alive,’ and we just kept with that attitude. It’s easier for us to see the light instead of digging to the dark.”

The biennial event known as 311 Day is coming up in 2012. Starting in 2000, the band began celebrating a holiday of their own every other March 11, with 311 playing for hours to crowds of thousands. The shows were initially staged in New Orleans, but due to scheduling issues the site has since moved to Las Vegas. While enthusiastic about the event and what Vegas has to offer, P-Nut can’t help but be wistful when recalling its Southern origin.

“The bars on Bourbon Street, without prompting from anybody—band, management, fans or otherwise—would start playing our music the night before the show and name drinks after songs. It was made for New Orleans, and the fact that we can’t do it there is a real kick in the balls, if you will.”

Hank3 (or Hank Williams III) recently told this writer that country music is one field where fans are more likely to grow old with the artists they care about. While their music falls well outside of that genre, P-Nut still easily sees a parallel with 311 and their fans.

“We definitely continue to hold our audiences well, as well as (311) constantly refreshing it, so we’re getting the best of both worlds by dumb luck and the nature of the band. It’s cool to see it passed from generation to generation—older fans bringing their kids, those kids playing songs that their parents hadn’t heard. It’s pretty amazing, and it’s really nice to be able to pay attention to the whole thing through Twitter and our website and the Internet.”


For 311, it's still all about the show (The Bulletin)

Norwich, Conn. — If you ask the band 311 how hard it is to stay true to what earned you fame and fortune, they’ll tell you it’s not that difficult at all.

“It’s always been about the show,” said 311 bass player P-Nut. “It’s been the focus on our whole career for 21 years. We don’t have as much energy as we used to, but we can probably play our instruments better.”

Known for their combination of rock and funky electronic beats, P-Nut and 311 will put on the show they’ve been known for at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena with special guest DJ Soulman.

“If you do anything as much as we play our instruments, you’re gonna be pretty good at it,” P-Nut said.

311 joined forces with Sublime with Rome during the summer for the Unity Tour, hitting amphitheaters across the country, drawing thousands in Atlanta, Boston, West Palm Beach, Denver and more. The tour was in support of its latest album, “Universal Pulse,” released in July.

“I don’t think we’ve hit that 2,000-show mark yet,” he said.

The band has had eight of its 10 albums reach the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart, and nine singles break into the Top 10 on Billboard’s Alternative Chart, including “Down,” “Love Song,” “Amber” and “All Mixed Up.” “Universal Pulse” debuted at No. 7.

“We’ve been lucky enough to have a bunch of radio singles and all that, and gain a larger audience through a dying medium such as radio,” P-Nut said. “But it’s always been about the show.”


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

311 Brings Electrifying Live Performance to Mohegan Sun Arena (CT Post)

311 once blew the roof off the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City.

It was 1996, and the rap-rock outfit, buoyed by the success of its multi-platinum-selling self-titled third album, rocked "Late Show with David Letterman" with a rip-roaring performance of "Down."

Fifteen years later, the quintet from Omaha, Neb. -- comprised of vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum, vocalist/DJ Doug "SA" Martinez, guitarist Tim Mahoney, bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Wills and drummer Chad Sexton -- hasn't come close to duplicating the commercial success of "311."

And while its record sales have dipped, enthusiasm for the band's live performances has not: 311 still plays to tens of thousands of fans every year.

"At one point, things got to be huge and a little out of control," Wills said of the band's mid-'90s success. "The radio attention comes and goes, but the live show is always No. 1."

Fresh off the heels of the release of its 10th studio album, "Universal Pulse" (ATO Records), 311 takes the stage at Mohegan Sun on Saturday, Dec. 3.

In a recent interview, Wills, who has been with 311 since its formation in 1988, discussed the band's shortest album yet, its penchant for positivity and the enduring popularity of its live shows.

Q: With 10 records worth of material under your belt, how do you guys decide what songs to include in your setlists? Are they pre-determined or totally off the cuff?

A: There are times when we feel like we should play what people know, so we can remind them of who we are. But they're at a 311 show cause they know who we are! I feel bad for people who've been to 50 shows and have heard "Beautiful Disaster" 50 times. Now, we see how far we can take it. Anyone coming to these shows can expect some rare stuff. This is a band that really stretches its legs out. We try to play as many songs as we can and we mix in some really interesting stuff in the process.

Q: That's right. I heard you guys once played 60 songs at a 311 Day show in New Orleans. It's interesting because your new album, at just eight songs, is really paired down and concise.

A: Well, what happened is that we had a batch of songs we threw away. They weren't going anywhere. We could have put out an album that had 16 tracks, but we weren't feeling them. We stopped them in their tracks. The eight songs on "Universal Pulse" are songs we could live with.

Q: Listening to the new album, what amazes me is the positivity that still flows through your music. How do you guys maintain that attitude, even with all the tragedy in the world?

A: It's just who we are, who we've always been. We came out when grunge was all the rage. At the time, it was cool to be pissed. We were kind of a counterbalance between the prosperity of the '90s and the junkies running the music scene. We've always been a glass half full kind of band. We can't get away from that. It's an instinct.

Q: Is there a sense that you guys are taking a more populist, rather than selfish, approach to writing music? Are you making music to keep your fans happy and dancing?

A: It's probably 50-50. We're making music that we love and we're helping people through their problems at the same time. People are always thanking us for putting that message out there ... hopefully, we'll be around for another decade or more, pushing the same ideas, helping people through their problems, enhancing individuality and spirit.

Q: I think you guys can make that happen. After 20 years, you're still bringing thousands of fans to your live shows. What is it about a 311 performance that makes it so enduring?

A: When Capricorn, our first record label, signed us 20 years ago, they said, "You're going to go out on the road and keep doing your live show." That's why they signed us -- because we kick ass live. Any success beyond that, the label said, "will be because of your live show." We might not be selling millions of records anymore, but if you're on stage, sweating it out, making the audience move to what you're doing than you have that success.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Special Post-Thanksgiving Message from Scott Yager and Podcast Interview w/ 311 Vocalist SA Martinez (Campus Socialite)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Want to thank everyone who has listened to the show over the past year. I am very thankful for you. I have a great time shooting the shit with the best in the world in music, sports, and comedy. After a short corny message from myself you can check out an interview I did with SA Martinez of 311 from a few weeks back where we talk about their latest album Universal Pulse (which appears on my Top Ten Album of the Year List), what cool stuff they’ve got coming up, how he stays so young and why he sweats so much. Enjoy the show and thanks again for all the support! -Scott


Thursday, November 17, 2011

311 (South Flordia Insider)

Unified for so many years, 311 recently kicked it into overdrive with one of their most chilled out albums to date, Universal Pulse. -interview with Nick Hexum in light of his upcoming show at Boca Raton's Mizner Park.

With the constant chaos that seems to unfold with countless bands, how have you guys managed to work so cohesively over the years?
Nick- We realize that we are so fortunate to be able to do this for a living. While there are stresses and disagreements in any band, we just stay committed to our fans and our music.

A long time ago when you toured with Hoobstank I saw you come out with steel drums and while out of the ordinary it definitely worked. Is that how you guys keep things fresh for yourself and your fans while touring?
Nick- Musical evolution is definitely the best way to keep things fresh. I'm excited to see where our five minds take us next time we're in the studio!

Now your latest album Universal Pulse has just 8 tracks, is that because you have other songs stashed for another album or are you just focusing on other areas?
Nick- Well, we started many songs, but decided just to focus on the best of the best. Quality over quantity.

People in Florida are already amp'd for another go of the Pow Wow festival, which you debuted last year. How did you like it?
Nick- That was an amazing experience. When I watched the video trailer I got overwhelmed by what an amazing thing it was to be a part of.

What projects are you currently working on? (Tours, albums, cover tracks, singles, etc.)
Nick- We have a touring schedule that keeps us really busy. I'm also working really hard on my guitar playing. We've started kicking around ideas for new music.

Over the years you guys have played all over the world, but is there a place that you're still waiting to check off the list? (Not necessarily city or state, but like a sporting event, rainforest, desert, etc.)
Nick- I want to play Manila, Philippines. That's the next place on my wish list.

Lastly, what does the future hold for 311?
Nick- Rock, sweat, funk, and love.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

311 to hit Mohegan Sun Arena on fall tour (Boston Music Spotlight)

311 have announced dates for a fall tour in support of their latest album, Universal Pulse. The Omaha-based rockers will hit the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday, December 3. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster for $35.

Universal Pulse, the band’s tenth studio effort, debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on Billboard’s Rock Albums chart after its release in July. Produced by Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica), it features lead single “Sunset in July”. With only eight songs to its name, the record barely makes the cut as a full-length album versus a shorter EP. But 311 manages to retain their positive tone in their shortest album yet.

“We’re rocking for positivity,” drummer Chad Sexton said in an interview with Artist Direct this past summer. “We always did that when we were young. We like being happy. We’re fans of happiness, and we like walking that fine line of balance of hard rocking and beautiful. That’s where we think we’re nailing our stride.”

Vocalist Nick Hexum also emphasized the importance of the band’s connection with their fans. “We’re making music for them to listen to and dance to,” he said. “They feed off the energy as much as we do, and that’s the core of what we do. The album was meant to support that rather than the other way around.”

To celebrate 11-11-11, 311 are giving away a free MP3 download of their 2011 concert at Red Rocks. Recorded live on August 16 at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, the complete show is available as a free download on the band’s website for the month of November.

In other 311 news, the band have announced plans for their annual 311 Day celebration. The band will return to Las Vegas next March to celebrate the occasion with two shows at the MGM Grand Arena. Then in May, they’ll host their own Caribbean Cruise. The band will take over an entire Carnival Cruise Line bound for the private island of Half Moon Cay from May 10 to 14. More information on both events is available on the band’s official website.


Monday, November 14, 2011

En Six Flags (WARP Magazine)

WARP Magazine Mexico review calls it "one of the best shows of 2011": http://www.warp.co.mx/311-en-el-DF

Después de un buen rato de espera en el teatro chino de Six Flags, era de esperarse que la banda que se presentaría esa noche esperaría a que dieran las 11:11 p.m. para salir al escenario, varios años pasaron para que 311 pudiera venir (o que algún promotor tuviera un destello de luz) a México. Lleno casi en su capacidad, el teatro chino recibió a mas de 3,000 personas la noche del 11.11.11, una fecha que como bien dijo la banda, era muy especial para ellos, así que un rato después del acto abridor (un Dj) que calentara motores en el Ajusco en una fría noche, 311 salió al escenario para abrir con ‘Beautiful Disaster’, momento en el que se notó que el 90% de los asistentes realmente eran verdaderos fans de la banda, que aunque fue formada a finales de los ochenta, comenzó su popularidad en los noventa con ese particular estilo entre el rock, reggae, rap y ska.

Siguieron haciendo un recorrido por su historia con canciones como ‘Sunset In July’, ‘Come Original’, ‘Love Song’ (cover a The Cure), que fuera coreada hasta por los hipsters perdidos ahí en el recinto, ‘All Mixed Up’, ‘Creatures (For a while)’, para que entre canciones Nick agradeciera al público y sobre todo mencionar que era una fecha especial para el grupo; siguieron los brincos de parte de la audiencia, recordando esos conciertos en los noventa donde sí se podía saltar al beat de una canción, Doug “SA”, no paraba de bailar en el escenario y hacer el paso del robot, realizaron un set con percusiones y un solo de bajo como buena banda noventera, canciones como ‘Homebrew’ y ‘Amber’ no podían faltar, para cerrar con la rola que los hiciera populares fuera de su país, ‘Down’.

En definitiva uno de los mejores shows de este 2011 en cuanto a buenos recuerdos y buena música.

Friday, November 4, 2011

311 Answers Call To Play Taj & Sun (NY Daily News)

In 1990, a group of white boys from Omaha, Neb. defies the odds and fuse reggae with rap-metal to form the band 311 - the call sign of the Omaha Police Department's for indecent exposure.

They've done very decently ever since. Over 20 years later, Chad Sexton, Nick Hexum, P-Nut, Tim Mahoney, and S.A. Martinez are still touring well into 2012 with their latest CD, "Universal Summer".

They will be at the Trump Taj Mahal on Dec. 2 ($45 a ticket) and at Mohegan Sun on Dec. 3 ($35).

311 translated its regional sucess to international recognition with several key albums, including "Music" (1993), "Grassroots" (1994), and the self-titled "311" (1995 aka "The Blue Album"), which sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. The CD reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned hit singles "Down" and "All Mixed Up."

Some fans may frown that "Universal Summer" has only eight tracks, but, as P-Nut says, the band decided to sacrifice length for quality. "Time Bomb" and "Wild Nights" are prime examples.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

311 - Universal Pulse (Little Rat Bastard)

Since their debut in 1993 have been chugging along putting out tunes the have amassed them a fiercely loyal fan base and landed themselves a few hits along the way. I was first introduced to 311 by my good friend Mark “Dead Mark” McCarty when he blasted ‘Grassroots’ out of his ’85 Chevy Chevette everywhere we went for about a month straight in 1994 or thereabouts. The music hooked me immediately, from the ska/reggae influence, to the hip-hop segments provided by S.A. Martinez, but mostly it was the smooth melodic delivery of lead singer Nick Hexum that really made me take notice. I immediately picked up ‘Grassroots’ and the latest at that time self-titled CD and played them for everyone I knew. This was an awesome new sound and needed to be heard.

Now some ten albums into their career 311 is back again with ‘Universal Pulse’ and what I love most about this record, like almost all their records, is that it is exactly what you want from 311. They are not randomly changing things up to fit in with current radio trends or drasticly changing up their line up. No, 311 continue to drop solid albums in the style that they have pioneered and built over the past almost two decades. ‘Universal Pulse’ is by far that shortest full-length release from 311, and it does tone down the island influence a bit more than before, but it is still half hour of perfection that is well worth listing to.

Sometimes you need to change things up to stay relevant or too sell to the masses, 311 has got a winning formula that just doesn’t quit. Go check it out for yourself and try and tell me I’m wrong.

Track Listing:
1.Time Bomb
2.Wild Nights
3.Sunset In July
5.Count Me In
6.Rock On
8.And A Ways To Go

July 19, 2011 - ATO Records


311 Going Strong (The Vignette)

311 is an Omaha-based rock band. They have sold over 8.5 million albums worldwide.

311 are known for their passionate fan base and epic live shows. They are playing The Midland Dec. 6. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Nick Hexum recently wrote in to discuss opening for Fugazi, 311′s songwriting process and the mindset that has kept them going strong for over 20 years.

For more info on 311, check out http://www.311.com/.

What did you enjoy most about the early days of the scene in Omaha?
We had weekly all ages shows on Monday nights at the Ranch Bowl. The Ranch Bowl was a now-defunct entertainment center where we cut our teeth and learned how to rock a crowd. That was a blast.

Do you remember your first show together?
Sure, opening for Fugazi at Sokol Hall was the ultimate launching point for us. 1,000 kids ready to mosh!

How do you approach live shows differently than your studio work?
The trick is to keep live shows and studio work somewhat similar. It’s important to bring that passion and energy that we have live into our recordings. We’re getting better at that.

Do you have a favorite motto or quote that you live by?
Stay positive and love your life.

Are there any artists or albums that you always find yourself listening to?
The Beatles.

You easily mix musical styles together, creating a sound that is all your own. How does your creative process work when songwriting?
Sometimes people bring in fragments and sometimes people bring in completed songs. We’ve learned to open up and let each other in our songs more which helps them develop to the best they can be.

311 has been together for over 20 years. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career and lessons you’ve learned from being together so long?
Learning to accept not getting your way is really important. When you’re in a band you have to surrender to democracy and have faith that the group as a whole will do the right thing even when it’s not to your liking. It always works out in the end!


Friday, October 14, 2011

“311 Day” 2012 Coming to MGM Grand Garden Arena March 10-11 (Las Vegas News)

Every other year on March 11 (“311 Day”), the multi-platinum rock group 311 holds a special concert event that attracts thousands of fans from around the world. This year’s “311 Day” will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with special performances Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, 2012. Tickets are on sale now and the purchase of one ticket grants access to both performances.

Billed as “the ultimate 311 concert experience”, “311 Day” is the premier event for 311 fans to gather and celebrate their love of the band and to witness an extraordinary show. 311 plays an extended setlist of hits, rarities, covers and classics; backed by a state-of-the-art light and special effects show. Past shows have also included appearances by circus performers, aerial acrobats, fire twirlers, stilt walkers, drumlines, and marching bands.

March 11 is considered a holiday to 311 fans around the globe and the band’s dedicated fans will travel to the “311 Day” show from far and wide. 311 Day was last in Las Vegas in 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The show sold out in advance and tickets were sold to fans in all 50 U.S. states and 13 different countries. The band played a five-hour show (60 songs) for the sold-out crowd. Due to the huge success and excitement surrounding the 2010 show, the band decided to return to Vegas for a two night celebration in 2012.

It’s clear that “311 Day” has become more than a concert. It’s a true happening; an event that began organically and has taken on a life of its own. On March 10 & 11, 2012, Las Vegas will be swarming with 311 fans from around the country & around the globe – meeting together to celebrate and experience the music of 311.

The “311 Day” concert at MGM Grand Garden Arena, scheduled for March 10 and 11 is on sale now at any MGM Grand Box Office outlet, all Ticketmaster locations, and online at www.Ticketmaster.com or www.mgmgrand.com. Tickets priced at $102 and $135 (plus fees) are limited to six (6) per person.

For fans anxious to purchase seats to highly anticipated concerts and events like 311 Day 2011, M life – MGM Resorts International’s new loyalty program — provides members with exclusive access to pre-sales for sporting events and concerts. The program also features rewards, benefits and once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the incomparable collection of MGM Resorts’ world-renowned destinations. To join, or for more information, visit mlife.com.

311’s new album Universal Pulse was released July 19th and debuted at #9 on the Billboard Top 200. Their first single “Sunset in July” reached #7 on the Alternative radio chart and their brand new single, “Count Me In” was released to radio last week.

For more information on “311 Day”, visit www.311.com.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

12/13: 311 brings 'Universal Pulse' tour to Comerica Theatre (AZ Central)

A near-constant presence on modern-rock radio formats since they topped the charts in 1996 with "Down," 311 will bring their "Universal Pulse" tour to Comerica Theatre on Friday, Dec. 13.

Released this summer, "Universal Pulse" became their seventh consecutive Top 10 entry on the Billboard album charts (or eight if you throw in their greatest hits collection). Rolling Stone said "Universal Pulse" finds 311 "embracing their role as ambassadors of summer fun." And this being Arizona, there's no reason not to have some summer fun in mid-December.

Tickets are $48 and $38, or $99 for a 4-pack, going on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at livenation.com, the Comerica box office, all Ticketmaster outlets or, by phone, at 800-745-3000.


Rock band 311 to headline another Carnival cruise (USA Today)

The rock band 311 will be heading out to sea again in 2012, this time on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Atlanta-based music cruise organizer Sixthman this week announced the chart-topping alternative rock group will be holding its second annual fan cruise next May on the 2,642-passenger Carnival Destiny. The four-night trip will kick off May 10 in Miami and include a call at a private island in the Bahamas.

The band's first fan cruise, a four-night trip to the Turks & Caicos, took place in March and was a sell-out success, Sixthman says.

In addition to holding two performances, 311 plans to host a Q&A session with fans on the upcoming voyage. In an unusual twist for fan cruises, the band also says it'll pose for a picture with every fan who wants one.

Details of the new sailing are online at 311cruise.com, and fans can begin signing up for spots on the ship this week, though formal bookings won't be taken until October. Fans who sailed with the band this year can formally book the new trip starting on Oct. 10; all other fans can book beginning Oct. 18.


Monday, October 3, 2011

311 Set To Perform Live At Mohegan Sun Arena (Mohegan Sun Newsroom)

Performance in Mohegan Sun Arena on December 3rd

Alternative band 311 will bring their unique sounds to Mohegan Sun Arena with special guest DJ Sowman in support of their latest album Universal Pulse, on Saturday, December 3rd at 8:00pm.

Tickets are $35.00 and go on sale Friday, October 7th at 10:00am through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may log on to ticketmaster.com; call Ticketmaster’s national toll free Charge By Phone number 1.800.745.3000; or visit any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets will also be available at the Mohegan Sun Box Office starting Saturday, October 8th, subject to availability.

Fans will be treated to sounds from 311’s latest album Universal Pulse, in addition to hits from the band’s previous nine studio albums. The band has sold over 8.5 million units in the U.S. since the late 80s when the band was formed by vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum, vocalist/DJ SA Martinez, lead guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton and bassist P-Nut. 311 has had 9 singles reach the Top 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Alternative Chart (including the #1 singles “Down,” “Love Song” & “Don’t Tread On Me” along with “Amber,” “All Mixed Up,” “Come Original,” “Creatures (For a While)” and “Hey You.”)

Mohegan Sun Arena is ranked the 4th best venue by Billboard Magazine and was the 2008 and 2010 recipient of a Country Music Award for “Casino of The Year.” For more information on concerts and other great events at Mohegan Sun, visit mohegansun.com. For information on this week’s schedule, call the Entertainment and Special Events hotline at 1.888.226.7711, ext. 27163.


311 Cruise (Salt Lake Tribune)

311 and the music-cruise company Sixthman just announced that the band is taking fans on vacation once again, launching the second annual 311 Caribbean Cruise May 10-14, 2012, on the Carnival Destiny.

The ship will leave from Miami and dock in Half Moon Cay (a private island in the Bahamas), staying for two days of music, sand, sun and fun before returning to Florida.

In addition to seeing two special 311 shows and performances by many supporting artists and DJs, every fan on the cruise will get a personal photo with the band, and will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with the band.

From the press release:

On the previous cruise 311 band members even participated in various events onboard. Bassist P-Nut played in a basketball tournament with fans, Vocalist Nick Hexum judged a 311 Karaoke contest and Vocalist SA Martinez did a DJ session at one of the ships nightclubs. The 2012 311 Caribbean Cruise will once again include lots of onboard games & activities (casino gambling, swimming, karaoke, 311 trivia contest, cannonball contest, bingo, movie screenings, late-night dance parties, etc) and many excursions will be available on Half Moon Cay (snorkeling, horseback riding, jet-skiing, fishing, biking, etc) making this an unparalleled fan experience for 311 fans from around the world.

Last year's cruisers had the time of their lives - and 311 & Sixthman plan to make the 2012 cruise even better. The 2011 311 Caribbean Cruise included fans from all 50 US States and 12 countries. It's this extreme affinity for 311 that the band and Sixthman are excited to celebrate on board. Last year's cruise sold out quickly; fans who want to come along should book quickly. When was the last time you cruised to a private island with your favorite band? Get on the boat with 311!!!

The full website is at www.311cruise.com. Booking begins October 18.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

311 to Host Second Annual Caribbean Cruise Aboard Carnival Destiny (Cruise Diva)

311, formed in 1990 in Omaha, Nebraska by vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum, vocalist/dj SA Martinez, lead guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton and bassist P-Nut has sold over 8.5 million units in the US, had 7 albums reach the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 Sales Chart, and 9 singles reach the Top 10 on Billboards's Alternative Chart. After years of incessant touring, 311 has earned a reputation as one of the most influential and entertaining live bands in the US, with an extremely dedicated fanbase. Now, Sixthman is excited to announce that the band is taking those loyal fans on vacation once again, launching the second annual 311 Caribbean Cruise May 10-14, 2012, on the Carnival Destiny. The ship will leave from Miami and dock in Half Moon Cay (a private island in the Bahamas), staying for two days of music, sand, sun, and fun before returning to Florida.

In addition to seeing two special 311 shows and performances by many supporting artists and DJs, every fan on the cruise will get a personal photo with the band, and will have the opportunity to participate in a Q-and-A session with band members.

On the previous cruise 311 band members even participated in various events onboard. Bassist P-Nut played in a basketball tournament with fans, Vocalist Nick Hexum judged a 311 Karaoke contest, and Vocalist SA Martinez did a DJ session at one of the ships nightclubs. The 2012 311 Caribbean Cruise will once again include lots of onboard games and activities (casino gambling, swimming, karaoke, 311 trivia contest, cannonball contest, bingo, movie screenings, late-night dance parties, etc) and many excursions will be available on Half Moon Cay (snorkeling, horseback riding, jet-skiing, fishing, biking, etc) making this an unparalleled fan experience for 311 fans from around the world.

Last year's cruisers had the time of their lives and 311 and Sixthman plan to make the 2012 cruise even better. The 2011 311 Caribbean Cruise included fans from all 50 US States and 12 countries. It's this extreme affinity for 311 that the band and Sixthman are excited to celebrate on board. Last year's cruise sold out quickly; fans who want to come along should book fast. When was the last time you cruised to a private island with your favorite band? Get on the boat with 311 by visiting their 311 Cruise website. Alumni who sailed last year can opt-in to the pre-sale from Sept 26-30, and begin booking Oct 10. All other fans can sign up starting Sept 26 through Oct 10, and begin booking Oct 18.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cruisin’ With 311 (Pollstar)

311 will return to the sea when the band embarks on its second ocean cruise in May.

The “311 Caribbean Cruise” departs Miami May 10, taking the band and its fans on a roundtrip voyage onboard the Carnival Destiny to privately owned Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas for two days of fun, beach and music before returning May 14.

Along with pleasures only found when soaking up that Caribbean sun, 311 will perform two special shows, pose for a personal photo with each and every fan and partake in a no-holds-barred Q&A. There will also be plenty of music provided by support artists and DJs.

Arranged by Atlanta-based Sixthman, the 2012 cruise marks the second time 311 has sailed with the company. On the band’s first time at sea bassist P-Nut played in a basketball tournament with fans, SA Martinez took on the roll of DJ at one of the ship’s nightclubs and Nick Hexum judged a 311 Karaoke contest.

For this cruise Sixthman is promising plenty of onboard games and activities, including casino gambling, swimming, movie screenings, late-night dance parties and pretty much everything you would expect from four days at sea with 311.

You wanna go? Veterans of the first 311 Caribbean Cruise can join in the pre-sale going on now through Sept. 30 and book their accommodations beginning Oct. 10. First-timers can also get in on the pre-sale but must wait until Oct. 18 to begin booking the trip.

But you need to visit the official 311 Caribbean Cruise website to get the ball rolling. Just click here.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rock Band Coming to Greensboro (WGHP)

Rock band 311 will perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex's Special Events Center.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and the Greensboro Coliseum box office.

The price is $37.50 and $42.50. The group is promoting their new album "Universal Pulse" and will be joined by DJ Soulman.

311's music is described as a hybrid of rock, reggae, hip-hop. They were formed in 1990 and are known for songs including "Down", "Love Song" and "Don't Tread On Me."


Thursday, September 22, 2011

311: Universal Pulse (Pop Matters)

If there is one word to describe rap/funk metal fusionists 311, it is consistency. The Nebraska alt rockers have had the same lineup since 1992, continue to sell out arenas around the U.S. despite only moderate mainstream success, and even rapper/turntablist S.A.’s Martinez’s on-stage dance moves haven’t changed. Musically, depending on whom you ask, 311 puts out a consistently infectious melding of rock, reggae and rap; or they continue to put out a formulaic, white middle-America hijacking of said genres.

So maybe polarizing is another word to describe 311. Their 10th studio release, Universal Pulse, does little to bridge the divide. For fans, this material represents a return to form—the tightest, most focused album in years. Clocking in at less than 30 minutes and with only eight songs, there is little room for dub inspired filler (see Transistor) or forays into indie rock influences ( Uplifter). Detractors, on the other hand, will point to the same old frat dude reggae rock and lame lyrics of pseudo-philosophy and self-adulation. Rolling Stone, a publication that has never given the band a three star rating or higher, described the album as “blunt, dimwitted, (and) completely formulaic”.

Album opener “Time Bomb” kicks off the retro 311 love fest with upbeat guitars, Nick Hexum and S.A. sing/rap interplay, and a chorus of “Let me introduce you to the excitable crew/This is just how we do/Ticking like a Time Bomb, watch me go off”. “Wild Night” continues the party with drug fueled nostalgia. “Where would be/Without the Wild nights/Barely getting by/The days of getting high”. The raging alt rock is bolstered by S.A.’s hip-hop interludes and a funk solo from lead guitarist Tim Mahoney. Hexum explores the lessons he learned from his drug days over a Caribbean/ska groove on “Trouble”, only to come to the conclusion that the problem was the six inches between his ears, “The bullshit, the trouble was coming from me, honestly”.

Lead single “Sunset in July” is the perfect radio friendly summer anthem: solid production, a catchy hook, innocuous upbeat lyrics, floating vocals and some scat thrown in for good measure. “Sunset in July/Rockers by my side/And time is flying by/Ba da dop dop da dee-yah”. The song’s twin cousin “Count Me In” combines a crafty mix of ska, power chords and wa-wa pedals with some less crafty lyrics, “We’re not living the Dream/We’re living the Life”.

311 saves the best for last with the last quarter of the album. “Weightless”, an airy but energized track, is one of the catchiest songs in the band’s catalog. The repetitive chorus “So weightless, weightless/All weightless, weightless/We’re all weightless, weightless/ Everyone of us is weightless”, in the context of the music, actually drives home the theme of the song without sounding redundant. Veteran producer Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica) does a flawless production job on the album closer, “And a Ways to Go”. The track shifts back and forth between ethereal and crunchy guitars better than any song since Evolver’s “Beyond the Gray Sky”. About three minutes in, the song somewhat abruptly shifts gears with an excellent P-nut bass solo that sounds straight out of the YES repertoire. Despite the slightly awkward song structure, it is the strongest track of the album.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's punk, it's pop, it's loud, it's quiet, it's chaos and it's art. Nirvana's "Nevermind" sucked us all in when "Smells Like Teen Spirit" slammed into us with its intro of twisted power chords and popping drums. "Nevermind" so defined a generation that some can recall exactly where they were when they first heard it. And, when asked how they got into rock 'n' roll, some musicians simply say "Nirvana."

But what if we're not talking about your generation? No matter. You should pay mind to "Nevermind," and Kurt Cobain, the genius behind it, say music journalists and historians, pop-culture watchers and academics alike.

It has influenced nearly every piece of popular music released in the last two decades. Along with countless other bands, The Flaming Lips and The Black Keys — both with recent top 10 albums — say they wouldn't exist without Nirvana. Even Miley Cyrus (who was not yet born when the album debuted) has covered "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in concert.

"Kurt Cobain's guitar sound on Nirvana's 'Nevermind' set the tone for '90s rock music," read a 2001 retrospective in Guitar World.

That's not an overstatement. When Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden burst onto the national scene, hair bands and pop were out.

"I think what 'Nevermind' did was brilliant and that Cobain was brilliant . It was a melding of what Neil Young had done and what punk had done," said Scott Anderson, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor who teaches rock history. "I read an interesting interview with (Talking Heads frontman) David Byrne who said ('Nevermind') is finally where punk got its due," long after it began in the late '70s and early '80s.

The best evidence? "Nevermind" unseated Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, from the top spot on the Billboard albums chart.

From the Jan. 11, 1992, issue of Billboard: The Seattle-area alternative band's 'Nevermind' surges from No. 6 to No. 1; Jackson's 'Dangerous' drops from No. 1 to No. 5."

We asked local and national musicians, readers and others one question: How did "Nevermind" affect you? Read on for their impressions.

"The first time I heard Nirvana rip into the opening chords of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' I felt like it was an explosion in my frontal lobe. Everything changed. A few years later, 311 recorded a lot of our 'From Chaos' album at Sound City, which is the same place 'Nevermind' was recorded. That was really cool for us."

— Nick Hexum, 311

" 'Bleach' was the coolest album ever when it came out. So, we (me and my super-cool friends) all bought 'Nevermind' soon after its release. The huge sonic step forward wasn't a detraction from the raw band we all loved. Their success was no surprise; they bled honesty, pain, and sacrifice through their words and instruments. Brilliance is the word, I do believe."

— P-Nut, 311

For more of this article, go to:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

311 Day 2012: Live in Las Vegas (The Pier)

This time around, renowned reggae-rockers 311 will not have a 311 day, but don’t be disappointed. The twist for this year’s 311 day comes with an entire weekend of music, not just one performance. The setting for this year’s annual festival will take place in the “city that never sleeps,” Las Vegas, Nevada.

Most partisans of a good time head to the Vegas strip for excitement. 311 fans worldwide will flock to “Sin City” to catch their favorite band in their own element. With three dates set for March 9-11 at two separate venues, fans will have a better opportunity to capture 311’s sound up close and personal.

311 will perform two shows during the three-day weekend at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the Las Vegas strip. The opening night of entertainment kicks off with a fan party at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel.

Past 311 day concerts have historically sold out in a matter of minutes. With the Las Vegas nightlife as another enticing lure with the constant party-vibe, tickets are expected to go just as quickly as previous shows hosted by 311 on their very special day.

Since March 11, 2000, 311 has hosted their very own “311 Day” in various cities across the country, with their first concert held in New Orleans. During 311’s set on that memorable day, the band performed 47 songs, their longest setlist ever at that time.

After each year, 311’s setlist grew to upwards of 60 songs. In 2004, 311 Day: Live in New Orleans was released on DVD containing 60 of the 64 songs performed that night.

Constantly referred to as “The ultimate 311 experience,” the band has performed for well over 5 hours, playing fan favorites, rarities, classic covers, entire albums, while also keeping the crowd’s senses entertained from all surroundings including circus performers, aerial acrobats, fire twirlers, and much more. With the three-day-event taking place in Las Vegas, this year’s festival will be the largest to date.

Clearly, the intimate setting of a cruise ship from last year’s extravaganza was not enough for the devoted fans of 311. It was only right to bring 311 day to back to Las Vegas, the site of the 2010 311 Day, to reach the thousands of loyal fans from across the globe.

Once again, this will be an experience unlike any other featuring your favorite band. Tickets for the event are on sale to the public today (9/17/11) and are selling at rapid fire pace. One ticket will allow you access to both shows. However, group sales and VIP packages are available for the 2012 rendition.

For the latest on tickets and up-to-date news about 311 Day visit: 311 Day 2012

311 Day 2012 Fan Party at the Joint (Vegas News)

In honor of 311 Day 2012, The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts the ultimate fan party and official kickoff of 311 Day weekend on Friday, March 9 at 9 p.m.

311 Day is an annual celebration by alternative rock group 311. 311 fans from around the world will gather in Las Vegas to meet each other and to celebrate the band and their music during this special three-day event. The 311 Fan Party kicks it all off with drink specials, exclusive entertainment and a DJ spinning 311 tunes all night.

311 will not be performing at this event.

With their fusion of rock, reggae and hip-hop, 311 formed in Omaha, Neb. in 1990. The band has released 10 studio albums, one live album and three DVDs…selling more than 8.5 million units in the U.S. The band’s most recent album is 2011’s Universal Pulse featuring the hit single “Sunset in July.”

Tickets, starting at $24.00 (plus applicable service fees), will be available Saturday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. at the Hard Rock Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000.


Friday, September 16, 2011

311 still has a 'Pulse' (San Francisco Examiner)

Who knew?

Virtually under the noses of the mainstream media, that quiet, jam-leaning rock band from Omaha, 311, has been creating an entire alternate world for itself, starting with its recent album “Universal Pulse” — its eighth consecutive record to debut in Billboard’s lofty Top Ten.

The group also just headlined its ninth annual Unity Tour, playing to 10,000-plus fans each night, and even orchestrated a 311 Cruise this summer, as well as a brand-new 311 Pow Wow Festival in Live Oak, Fla., where they performed alongside The Deftones, Ozomatli and Sublime With Rome.

But wait — there’s still more.

This Saturday at 10 a.m. PST, tickets go on sale through www.ticketmaster.com for next year’s 311 Day, a biannual fanfest/holiday held in Las Vegas, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Traditionally, 311 plays extended sets for the event, containing hits, covers and catalog rarities, which can last as long as five hours. Past shows have also included aerial acrobats, circus performers, fire twirlers, even drumlines and full marching bands. (Again: Who knew?)

The three-day fest begins with a fan party on Friday, March 9 at the Hard Rock Hotel’s The Joint, followed by two consecutive MGM concerts on March 10 and 11.

Don’t believe us? Visit www.311.com for even more details.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Days of 311 (Pollstar)

Next year’s edition of 311 Day will be three times as fun because the band’s bi-annual celebration is expanding to a three-day event.

The 2012 event is scheduled for March 9-11 in Las Vegas because of course the festival had to include that special day that only comes once a year: 3/11.

The weekend kicks off March 9 with a fan party at The Joint @ Hard Rock Hotel/Casino followed by two unique shows March 10-11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Fans can expect their favorite band to play an extended setlist of hits, rarities, covers and classics complete with a state-of-the-art light and special effects show.

311 will be sure to show off tunes from the band’s latest album, Universal Pulse. The group’s tenth studio album was released in July on 311 Records/ATO Records.

Billed as “the ultimate 311 concert experience,” past shows have included setlists that last up to five hours and appearances by circus performers, aerial acrobats, fire twirlers, stilt walkers, drumlines and marching bands.

Pre-sale tickets went on sale to 311 Hive members earlier this week. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday at 10 a.m. PST through Ticketmaster.com. No single-day tickets will be sold.

For more information, click here for 311’s website.


311 Announced Details for 311 Day 2012 (Concert Confessions)

311 have announced the initial details of 311 Day 2012. The event will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada on the weekend of March 11th, 2012 (get it?). Known for marathon gigs often lasting over five hours, for 2012 the band will use an entire weekend to celebrate the day that Bobby McFerrin was born.

On Friday March 9th, 311 will throw a fan party at the Joint (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino). On March 10th and 11th the band will take over the MGM Grand Arena for two unique concert experiences. The best part of the deal is that one concert ticket will get you into both shows at the MGM Grand Arena.

Pre-sale for 311 Day 2012 is already underway. Click here for ticket information/travel packages and all the dirt on this highest of holidays for fans of 311.


News: 311 Day 2012 Announced (RocBloc)

311 have announced their plan for next year’s 311 Day. The event will be held in Las Vegas, NV and will included two concerts at the MGM Grand, a private fan party, and more! Click here for the full details and check out the schedule below.

3/9 – Fan Party @ The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel)
3/10 – 311 Show 1 @ MGM Grand Arena
3/11 – 311 Show 2 @ MGM Grand Arena

311 will be promoting their latest album Universal Pulse, released back in July of this year.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

311 Announces Next Year's 311 DAY (Dying Scene)

311 have just released some details about their annual celebration – 311 Day 2012 in Las Vegas. For many fans, 311 Day (March 11th, get it?) is a joyous occasion, creating the opportunity to meet tons of other fans and enjoy a weekend filled with great music. The first celebration of 311 Day happened back in 2000 in New Orleans. As for next year, the band will play three nights and you can check out the dates here.

The band’s latest full-length, Universal Pulse, came out last July on ATO Records.

March 9, 2012 – Fan Party at The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel)
March 10, 2012 – 311 Show 1 at MGM Grand Arena
March 11, 2012 – 311 Show 2 at MGM Grand Arena


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Surviving 311 Pow Wow (Festival Survival Guide)

Well, the 311 nation did it again! 311 Pow Wow, 311′s very first multi-day music festival, went off with great success in Live Oak Florida at the Spirit of Suwanee Music Park. The music was unbelievable and the good vibes flowed heartily all weekend long. I’m not sure I can adequately describe in words the level of fun to be had at 311 Pow Wow but after all these years I am still convinced that 311 fans are the best people on Earth.

A great time was had by all but as with every festival there are some unique challenges to be ready for, so here’s a little rundown.

This festival was held in one of the most beautiful venues in the Southeast. The Spirit of Suwanee Music Park hosts many festivals all year long which never disappoint, and the Pow Wow was no exception. The music park is spread over many Oak tree covered acres with winding dirt roads and lots of fun amenities. All the nature is great but nature can be a bitch sometimes! Example A: FIRE ANTS! Anyone who was in attendence this year can attest that the godforsaken fire ants were more than just tiny meneces but rather a huge problem. One could not stand in the same place for more than a few seconds without looking down to make sure their feet were not covered in the little bastards. They are mean and they bite! Some areas were worse than others but I do know that our campsite was more than overrun with them. Within a few minutes of setting up camp they helped themselves to the groceries I had just purchased. I had unpacked them out of the hot car into the tent. When I looked at the food crates they had become moving, crawling blobs. I half expected to see a bag of chips being carried off into the field. Needless to say, my snacks were ruined. My advice to you when going to the Pow Wow is to prepare for the ants. You can do this in a few ways like wearing “real” shoes. The flops and sandals are nice for the heat but tennis shoes will give you that extra barrier from the little monsters. You can also try and keep your food in sealed tupperware or other boxes to make it impenetrable to the ants. If you can keep it off the ground a little bit (like on top of a crate) that will help a little but your best bet is to just make sure everything is sealed off completely. Those of you who are not from the South may not have battled these beasts before so for your information they can climb anything and can find their way into any unsealed bag. You should also get strapped with a can of Raid fire ant killer. They only thing that kept them out of my tent was spraying a perimeter all around the tent in a thick layer. Putting bug spray on our feet also helped a little in detering the ants but only for an hour or so. You should also make sure your trash bags are tied to a tree or otherwise kept out of the way of your chill zone. Bringing a few extra trash bags can help you out also because at some point you will have to take the trash to the dumpster, so if you cover it with a second bag and tie it tight you can avoid having your hands and arms covered with ants.

Besides the damn fire ants, the only other big challenge was the heat. I have been convinced on several occasions in my life that I could not physically be any hotter. The first was in Acopolco, Mexico, on the beach in the summertime. The second was Wakarusa this summer, which if you attended you experienced the windless, cloudless, still hot sun for yourself. Yet none of these could hold a melting candle to the humid, unrelenting heat of Live Oak in August. Again, if you are not familiar with how things work in the South, let me just tell you, we have our own brand of heat which is unreal if you have never experienced it. The humidity is at like 90% so it is a muggy,heavy sort of heat. A nice breeze blew through often which was pleasant and refreshing, but the biggest life saver in the heat was the river. The Suwanee river has natural springs and while it was almost like bath water, it was still a refuge to sit and chill in. The river was also just straight up fun as hell! The sandy beach made you feel like you were in a great vacation spot and the rope swing was a constant form of entertainment. One could chill in the river for hours and watch the amazing belly flops, the float jumpers, and the streakers go off the super high rope swing. It was a true blast and brought the water logged 311 Nation together even more. Live music as well as blaring stereos could be found by the river as well keeping the good vibes flowing, and the Canoe Outpost station was staffed with great people to help you out if you want to do some river exploration. Vessel!

To beat the heat it is also advised to scope out the campgrounds thuroughly before picking a location. The Spirit of Suwanee Music Park has lots of shady areas to pick from so take a minute when you enter to find a good spot to set up. There is not assigned camping with the exception of RV hookups and a few other spots so you pretty much have your pick of locations. You should also bring some shade with you, whether in the form of pop up tents or even just hanging tarps, blankets, or tapestries.

Free showers are also available for use throughout the grounds so it is possible to get cleaned up if you want, however I suggest going during “off peak” times because the line can get a little long. Not outrageous, just about 10-15 minutes, but since you will likely just get sweaty and gross within minutes of the shower anyway you may as well wait til later in the afternoon to save some time. Also, the showers use sulfur water so don’t be alarmed by the rotten egg smell. It’s good for you, just hold your nose and power through.

Drink water! I repeat, DRINK WATER! The heat and humidity causes one to sweat intensely so hydration is very important. Take water with you everywhere and refill it often (water refill stations are available everywhere inside the venue and out). Don’t wait until you are thirsty, just drink water constantly throughtout the day. If you are drinking booze this is especially imortant. Don’t let your fun by ruined by heat exhaustion and dehydration, there’s too many good times to be had!

As far as entering the grounds and security goes, I’m sure you have questions so I will try to let you in on what I saw. Entrance times are pretty lax. This is not a setup like All Good or Wakarusa for example where you need to get there by a certain time to wait in a long line to get in. This park is a camping and outdoors resort when there is not a festival so people are welcome to come in whenever. My friends for example got to the grounds the Monday before the festival and spent the week conoeing, playing disk golf,camping, and hanging out with their dog (please note that pets are not allowed during the festival, but there is a nice kennel near by so if you do bring them pre-fest you can drop the doggies off there). If you choose to come early you will have to pay for the days you are camped there which is about $20 per night for regular days and $30 the night before the festival. I arrived on Thursday afternoon around 3:00. I stopped at a gas station right off the interstate to stock up on ice and gas before entering (which I recommend). There was no wait for gas and the place was fully stocked with reasonably priced ice bags. I then headed right into the festival grounds. There are plenty of signs and people to guide you every few feet, and there was no line. My car was not checked by security whatsoever. Once into the grounds I just found my friends in the spot we had picked out and set up shop. Easy as pie.

Once inside the grounds you are able to leave and come back if you choose. This allows folks to leave and go to the nearby gas stations or Wal-Mart if you want to grab any supplies you need. If you are like me and choose to stay “unable to drive” all weekend, you can also go to the general store on the premisis for beer, food, batteries, etc. They do not jack up the prices too much or anything so this is a good option for anyone who does not want to drive. If you want to drive down to the river rather than walk this is allowed too, but parking is limited and PLEASE do not drive if you are intoxicated. There are lots of pedestrians and trees to hit so please just use your judgement well!

When you enter the music venue the security was also pretty lax. You are not allowed to bring outside beers into the venue so finish those up before you get to the gates. It depended on what security people were there as to how heavy the search was. For example most days my backpack was not even looked at, opened, or anything. My friend’s fold up chairs were opened and checked however, so I’m not sure what the method of searches was but either way it was not intense.

This festival was one of the most amazing times I have had all year and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in good vibes and great people! I think i speak for the whole 311 Nation when I say that this first year was spectacular and we all hope this is a continuing tradition for years to come. So let everyone gather, the more, the better!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Sixthman Plans 311 Cruise (Go Carribean)

Ska band 311 will lead the party during the 311 Caribbean Cruise, slated for May 10-14, 2011. The Sixthman cruise will depart Miami and sail to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. Pre-sale begins in October. Other 2012 music-themed cruises from Sixthman include a TCM Classic Cruise, Kiss Cruise, Elvis Cruise, Weezer Cruise, and Rock Boat XII. Check out the full list on the Sixthman website.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

CD Review: 311 "Universal Pulse" (ThisIsModern)

311 continue to put out solid albums and their latest is no exception. The difference here is that the album only consists of eight tracks and leave true fans wanting more. Regardless, it features a couple of killer tracks that should translate well to 311's amazing live show. The song "Sunset In July" is an instant classic with singable lyrics and their signature hard-rock-meets-reggae vibe. The album doesn't feature any real slow or mellow tunes (like "Amber" or "Love Song") but rather shows of a throwback to their earlier independent days and the mid-nineties alternative rock feel of their debut self titled album. Rock bands come and go but 311 have proven that not only do they have staying power but they continue to write, record, release, and perform at the top of their game. The new music is a welcome addition to an incredibly expansive and influential catalogue.


Monday, September 5, 2011

311 Unity Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (OC Reloaded)

Arguably not as good a lineup as last year, 311’s Unity tour came into town Saturday with Sublime with Rome. Regardless, even with no Offspring and Pepper to get things started – the Irvine stop was still all that.

Once the gates opened at around 6PM people were already lined up. Many also were in line to buy tickets to the special event and those that came just for 311 were still partying in their cars waiting a couple of hours before heading in. The parting at a 311 show is a bit of a different scene then at what you would typically see at a normal concert. Lots of interaction between people who just met. It’s interesting to see music bring people together and quite possibly create new friends between folks that would normally not socialize with each other.

While walking in around 7ish between the time I got from the gate to the stage, the “3 mile walk” at Verizon Wireless amphitheater no less than 4 groups of people chatted with me. We would discuss things like music, the venue, other concerts, and the weather. Mind you, personally I am more reserved and less outgoing then the majority of concert goers, but just being in the venue, in the atmosphere that 311 fans create, seems to bring out the social part of me I didn’t realize I had.

When Sublime with Rome took the stage you could hear a few people complain about Rome’s voice. What they forget is it’s really not the same band. Don’t get me wrong, there were some DIE-HARD fans out there who were nonstop dancing in their seats from the first note out Rome’s mouth but still it seemed a small percentage of sublime fans were disconnected watching the set. I’ll be the first one to admit, when I first heard Sublime with Rome, they sounded more like a cover band. I’m talking about their first show at the palladium (though, technically Smokeout Festival in 2009). Back then Rome refused to interact or even say a word to the crowd.

Now however things are a bit different. Rome is filling out nicely and coming around. With one record behind the new group and at least one hit song, “Panic”, Rome is becoming more of the front man he should be. Even in the earlier shows it was rare to hear Rome say anything in-between songs. It was just song after song with a few random “thank you’s”. This time around however Rome expressed how grateful he was throughout the set. In-between the weed jokes (or were they jokes?), explaining how “fucking happy” he was to be here in southern California and playing for the Irvine crowd.

Sublime with Rome’s setlist included just two songs I could identify as new, “Panic” and “PCH”. It was mainly made up of older songs and older hits. They mixed up the setlist with hit songs to lesser known songs. Highlights? “Smoke two joints”, “Wrong way”, “Santeria” and “Date Rape”. Did I forget “Panic”? I heard it from the bathroom so I can’t judge it by the crowd reaction – however I can assume it was crazy.

When 311 went on stage most people were scrambling to get back to their seats from getting more drinks and grabbing a bite to eat. Everybody that was walking down to lower parts of the venue could be seen running for their life to get back to their seats. Who could blame them? 311 started off with “Beautiful Disaster”. The perfect start to what would end up being a great set.

The 24 or so song set list wasn’t just song after song. Easily two of the highlights of the night were “P-nut’s” bass solo and Chad Sext’s drum solo. For Chad’s drum solo, in the end, everybody grabbed a drum and joined in as well. It was great to see the entire band up there banging away. The crowd, not surprisingly, was going crazy as well. It was electrifying to watch. But we already knew the group had talent didn’t we? This is nothing new! What is new is getting the entire crowd very excited to a bass and drum solo though. Music as exciting as a complete song with lyrics. P-Nut after the show said on his twitter, “I cannot stress the greatness of being able to speak without words on my bass.”. Well, I cannot stress the greatness it was hearing him on his bass.

SA Martinez’s and Nick Hexum’s chemistry on stage is epic. Both guys, with such incredible chemistry switch back and forth seamlessly between versus. During the show I had a chance to speak with concert goers who came just because their friends made them come but were very public about now becoming 311 fans, a group they previously didn’t know much about it.