Thursday, July 14, 2011
311 and Sublime with Rome Review
I went to the 311 and Sublime with Rome Unity Tour on Tuesday night and I thought that it was a great show and Stage AE proved to be a great venue for both groups. 311 is one of my top bands both to see in concert and to listen to at any time of the year, while Sublime is a great band to listen to in the summer or when good weather or vacation is impending. That being said, this concert was right up my alley.
I had only been to the Weezer concert at Stage AE and the atmosphere and logistics of entering Stage AE differed immensely. Stage AE only had one gate open and security was out in full force checking and trashing any possible contraband. This was most likely due to the recreational drug use reputation of both bands and their fans. I thought that this would be a perfect concert to grab a blanket and go to the lawn area to sit and enjoy the show, but my towel was taken because "each band has different rules of what is allowed into the venue." I was disappointed that I would not be able to relax on the lawn on my towel, but once the concert began everyone was standing so the blanket became a moot point.
Surprisingly, the crowd was very divided as I talked to people around me and most were either fans of just Sublime or 311 and rarely both. Ever since Bradley Nowell died in 1996 Sublime has not been the same. I simply looked at Sublime with Rome as a glorified cover band for the original version and the lack of Nowell made a big difference to my enjoyment of Sublime with Rome. All of the hits were played and people were dancing to the music, but I was ready for 311 to begin because they were the real show.
311 is always a great band to see live with great crowd interaction, stage presence, energy, and light show matching the music. 311 began with Jackpot from their 2009 album Uplifter and the song did just that as the crowd quickly became energized and got into the concert from the start. 311 ripped through 22 songs only breaking twice for a drum solo by Chad Sexton and a bass solo by P. Nut later. The first 11 songs were all classics and then 311 moved into six of their more mellow tracks which were also good chances for bathroom or concession breaks. I had to laugh as 311 asked everyone to get out their Terrible Towels to show unity with the city, but I guess they either forgot or Stage AE management was lying because no towels were permitted into the venue and no one could oblige. They also played their new single Sunset in July which is a great track from their new album Universal Pulse which comes out on July 19. 311 went off stage for a very short time and came back to close with their encore of two of their most famous tracks. They began with Who's Got the Herb which has become one of their live anthems as it was never on an album and to close 311 was sure to say "this one is for all of you out there who are old school fans" when tearing into arguably their top single and one of my favorites Down which was from their self-titled album which broke them out in 1995.
I was surprised at how fast the concert went and I am sure I will see 311 when they come back to town.