I just got back from a 311 concert at the Queen E. My ears are still ringing, and I can’t really heard myself type. It was a great show.
A friend had bought me some tickets in return for letting him crash on my couch for a little over a week. Definitely a good trade. I hadn’t heard of the opening guys, but 311 was a band that I had rocked out to quite a bit in High School.
The opening act, Slightly Stoopid, was surprisingly good. They had a very unusual sound, probably because they kept switching up genres with each song. Sometimes they were Reggae, sometimes Ska, they did two punk numbers, and a couple of songs that sounded like Snow. Overall, very good. But, it’s hard to go wrong when you have two percussion sections, and a brass section. This also marked the first bongo solo I’ve seen performed on stage. Probably the highlight for these guys was the sheer amount of bass they were generating. They opened with the kick drum and a bass guitar solo — I was pretty sure my eyeballs were going to explode.
After an incredible finishing number (all music, no singing) the band let up for a 30 minutes intermission and then the main act came on.
Before this concert, I asked a number of people if they’d be interested in catching the 311 concert with me. To my surprise, no one I know knew who they were (even the person I sold the tickets to had never heard of them; she was purchasing tickets to the openers instead). I don’t really know how people my age haven’t heard of the band before, they had a number of pretty big radio hits during the 90s that I’m sure would have stuck with you. The three biggest being Amber, Love Song, and Down.
Anyhow, obviously some people remembered these guys. As the lights went down, their bass player let rip an amazing solo (Why can’t I buy that for Rock Band?!) to the sold out hall that had everyone standing in their seats. No one sat down for the next ninety minutes as the band played a great mixture of old and new songs.
The highlight of the show was an awesome solo by drummer Chad Sexton. They hit the lights and he pounded away solo for 3 and a half minutes. When they raised the lights, there were 4 more kits on stage, and the rest of the band accompanied him for another 2 minutes. They hammed it up a little, drumming robotic style, and running with a short cowbell solo — it was great.