Multi-platinum artist 311 rolled into Western New York for the first time in fifteen years on Monday July 10. Known for their high energy shows and polished sound, 311 didn’t disappoint with a well-produced stage show and a setlist that was as diverse as the band’s 27 year career span.
Despite scattered rain showers, music fans across Western New York poured into the venue for a night of high energy music. UK rock/reggae fusion outfit the Skints’ opened the evening with up-tempo rock roots infused tunes that immediately connected with attendees. Despite scattered rain showers and gray skies, the Skints energized the crowd with a mix of reggae style beats layered with hints of London punk.
Danish Rock New Politics took the stage to showcase their Euro style of edgy, gritty rock. Lead vocalist and Frontman David Boyd mesmerized the growing crowds with raw energy and enthusiasm. The band performed a mix of songs from their three studio albums including “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens),” “Dignity” and “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” The band’s cover of the Beastie Boys classic “Sabotage” was also a crowd favorite.
311 took to the stage before sunset, opening with “Perfect Mistake” from their latest release Mosaic. Early in the set, 311 established the tone of the evening with instant energy as they launched into two of the band’s most well-known early singles “Come Original” and “All Mixed Up.”
Other evening highlights included “Homebrew,” the opening track from the band’s 1994 album Grassroots as well as “Amber” from the band’s 2002 From Chaos. As dusk settled in, 311’s neatly placed “Sunset in July” provided the perfect transition into the second half of the band’s performance.
The evening’s sunset performance provided a diverse glimpse into 311’s two distinct performance styles. Designs by longtime lighting designer Joe Paradise were perfectly executed by the band’s production team and as night fell 311 transitioned from providing high energy nostalgia to showcasing high end production. A mix of traditional stage lighting and LED programming created the perfect backdrop for new songs like “Too Late” yet was perfectly crafted for the band’s entire catalog like “Don’t Stay Home” or the first set closer “Creatures (For A While).”
311 returned to the stage to close the night with a three-song encore. “Beyond the Gray Sky” from the band’s 2003 album Evolver was a soft but stunning example of the 311’s ability to create mesmerizing moments. The night concluded with the band’s first #1 single “Down.”
Throughout the evening, 311 performed with polish and precision. Yet, their distinctly produced sound translates well into their live performance. Vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum and vocalist Doug “SA” Martinez exchange vocal passing with amazing quickness, energy and accuracy. Martinez performs with an intense energy that is simply stated- fun to watch. Guitarist Tim Mahoney, Bassist P-Nut and Drummer Chad Saxton nail musical execution at its highest level on stage.
311’s Summer Tour continues Friday July 14 as the band makes a festival appearance at the Great South Bay Music Festival in Long Island. Although the band has no more upcoming dates after that in New York State, fans can catch 311 in nearby in Asbury, NJ on July 15 and Hartford, CT on July 22. The band will conclude their 8-week summer tour on August 20 in San Diego.
311’s return to the greater Buffalo area was hosted by 103.3 The Edge and was part of the Artpark Coors Light Music Series
Setlist: Perfect Mistake, Come Original, All Mixed Up, Homebrew, Hey Yo, Beautiful Disaster, Sunset in July, Wildfire, Too Much Too Think, Bass Solo, Sick Tight, Amber, One in the Same, Applied Science, Til the City’s on Fire, Freeze Time, Extension, Don’t Stay Home, Too Late, Creatures (For A While)
Encore: Beyond the Gray Sky, On a Roll, Down