311 arrived last Sunday night August 4th, 2014 to a packed and extremely hyped Minnesota fan base standing shoulder-to-shoulder and ready to let out the inner rage. Mill City Nights providing ample room, strong pours, and a beautiful stage fit to be perfect for a late-night Sunday show in Minneapolis.
Written by Sam Wright
Photos by Alexander Just and Tanner Morris
The first to hit the stage was our city’s own la madness . They came out strong setting the tone of the night with their indy-grunge blues sound that has been catching fire with popularity, which has sent them around the world and back on tour over the span of 2013. Still a young band in any right, the synergy amongst each of them on stage was evident, intertwining amazing intricate riffs with the strong grungy vocal lead proved they were well versed as a live band and they performed extremely well. Their set was greatly received because of the quality of the superior sound, and familiarity of many Minnesota nuances and places depicted in the songs. They left 311 with an up-beat audience ready for their headliner.
311 took to the stage after the unveiling Chad Sexton’s massive and ornate throne of crash and splash symbols.
There were multiple things that were evident to me while witnessing this set: The first was that 311 had the same knack for live shows and did not lack any of the consistency and intensity as when I saw them in 2006, and the second was that 311 understood their fans and what they want to hear in live sets.
They came out older in age, having lived longer on this earth, more experienced in their craft and that was the only distinguishable difference between the amazing set I saw in 2006 at Roy Wilkins auditorium. They still sound better live than in a studio album, and the consistency of their sound is something that has amazed me.
Their understanding of their fans is what allowed the ambiance to be taken to another level, mixing billboard favorites circa 1990’s through every album including their newest piece of work, “Stereolithic” which dropped last march.
It proved to be true sensory experiences highlighted by a drum solo from Chad Sexton leading into the hit “come original” and P-Nuts han solo inspired bass neck. They played the perfect mash-up of old and new for extremely loyal fan base, and the entire venue was through the roof- even Nick Hexum remarked at how incredibly loud Minnesota was getting-especially for a Sunday.
Our beloved Nebraska natives have grown more comfortable, and more at home individually- their love of music, and fans and incredible talent for live shows has all but wavered. There is not much more to be said. P-nut is still keeping things funky.. ladies still goes crazy when S.A comes in spitting his verses, Sexton throws down the hammer in style, and Hexum leads the way to victory as they rock Mill City Nights. It left myself wondering; when will be the next time we see 311 in Minnesota?