It seems just like yesterday that for the first time Las Vegas hosted the annual 311 day, back in 2010. Although I was not fortunate enough to snag a ticket in the few minutes before they sold out, 311 once again showed Las Vegas love by kicking off their spring tour at The Joint. Despite being fan since the release of their 1995 "Blue Album," I was still a virgin to seeing 311's live show. Needless to say, with 15 years for my imagination to run wild, I was beyond excited to see this show.
Opening was Las Vegas' own hip-hop groove band 702. This massive eight piece band consists of a highly technical guitarist, intense bass, keys, and drums, all feeding the beat to four emcees. Their songs ranged from groovy beats to loud rock, channeling several styles, from Jurassic Five to Rage Against the Machine. RNR was highly dynamic, captivating the audience and getting the crowd spun like they were the main act. I was truly impressed by everything they brought to the Joint, and it's been a while since I could say that about a homegrown band. Truly innovative and sure to go somewhere, be sure to do your part, show some Vegas love and take a moment to give RNR a listen.
Before 311 took the stage, fans began rushing down to the floor and "three-eleven" chants began breaking out of the over-anxious crowd. 311 started off hard, wasting no time whipping the fans into a frenzy. Nick Hexum addressed the thousands of cheering fans, "What's up Vegas! Welcome to the first show of 2011. Thanks for comin' out. Let's get loose and have some fun; what do ya say?" 311 definitely brought the fun, playing mostly songs from their back catalog, fans sang along and danced through a groovy two-hour performance. Despite throwing a rather plain show relying only on house lighting, this allowed Hexum's ambient voice and the music to shine even stronger through. I was thoroughly impressed with 311's incredible performance and hope to catch many more in the future. The next day, 311 posted on their facebook, "Thanks Vegas!! Great fun was had by all." 311 also gave fans a link to their incredible setlist, which consisted of many old tracks and rarities that surely please everyone in the house. Fortunately I captured several of these rare moments on video. [Notably Part II: A wicked drum circle with all members on drums following Applied Science, Part III: Eons, and Part IV: Mindspin]
Part I - RNR, 311: Intro / Sick Tight, Beautiful Disaster
Part II - 311: Welcome, Mixed Up, Applied Science (entirety)
Part III - 311: Eons, Omaha Stylee, and Down.
Part IV - 311 Encore: Mindspin and Feels Good