86 songs, 2 nights, 1 band, 1 fam, and some insight from frontman, Nick Hexum
To the legion of fans that celebrate 311 DAY, 311 is more than a band. It’s a community, a movement and a family that transcends beyond the music.
Welcome to 311 DAY 2018. The Los Angeles by-way-of Omaha band’s 10th ultimate 311 concert experience. The every other year event took place at the Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas this past Saturday and Sunday with a fan pre-party going to kick things off on Friday. 12,000 tickets were sold and fans from all 50 U.S. States and 17 countries attended.
311 played 86 different songs across two 3+ hour shows (42 songs Night 1 and 44 songs Night 2) — including material from all eras of their 27 year career and from all 12 of their studio albums.
So, what was different this year?
Weren’t able to make it out to Vegas? You had the option to watch from your couch. The two shows were Webcast via Nugs.tv & Live311.com where thousands of fans tuned in to witness the magic of the two nights. Audio downloads of 311 DAY 2018 now available at Live311.com.
Forbes Magazine recognized a 300% spike increase at 311’s You Tube channel over 311 DAY weekend. While Alternative Radio Stations played blocks of 311 songs and media outlets paid respect to 311’s longevity and 311 DAY tradition.
Both nights featured state-of-the-art production with video visuals (across an 80 foot 4K LED wall), automated lighting pods, pyro, confetti cannons and more. Night 1 started with an Intro Video honoring their fans who traveled from across the globe to be in Vegas for the celebration. Kicking off the night 2 was an animated Intro Video intro by cartoonist, and Artist Waves featured artist, Scott Soeder. This short contained band voice-overs.
The Rarities and a World Premiere:
29 songs into night 1, Nick Hexum (singer/guitarist) took the stage solo with his guitar to play for the first time ever “Places That the Mind Goes” (from new album MOSAIC) and “Remember Me” from the animated movie Coco, which he dedicated to his three young daughters in the audience.
“How Do You Feel” was played for the first time since 2011, “I Like the Way” was played for first time since 2013, (SA changed the chorus to shout out some of the die-hard fans on the rail: Chaundra, Trisha, Vanessa and Danielle), and “How Long Has it Been?” was played for the first time since 2014.
Bassist, P-Nut, took the stage solo to do an extended Bass Solo featuring Coda, a hidden track on the band’s 2003 release Evolver.
Drummer, Chad Sexton, played an extended drum solo on two different drum sets, incorporating electronics and a wave of various drum patterns. Then for the first time during the drum solo, Sexton was joined by guitarist, Tim Mahoney, who added ambient guitar parts while psychedelic visuals colored the LED wall.
As a group they rocked their signature full band drumline during their song Applied Science, this time including two stick tosses.
Wish You Were Here:
Night 1, song 35, the lights dim, the backdrop illuminates, resembling a star-light sky, Hexum and Tim Mahoney (guitarist) gracefully glide into Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. The backdrop changes — Janis Joplin appears to the left, Michael Jackson to the right. Then John Lennon and later, the likes of an inspiration behind Artist Waves in Chris Cornell, Tom Petty and Chester Bennington, all tragically lost in 2017. This still rendition was accompanied by an In Memoriam video tribute throughout the song, honoring their deceased musical heroes along with 311 fans Renee O’Neal and Meredith Hight (two dedicated 311 fans both tragically killed in separate domestic violence incidents over the past year) and to Patrick Hexum, the youngest brother of bandmember Nick Hexum.
“My youngest brother Patrick was included in the montage. We lost him a couple years ago to opiates. So devastating. He would have loved the Floyd cover. He was a classic rock guy. Having his picture up there as well as knowing that there were images of fans Renee & Meredith (whose friends were there in the front row) made it all so emotional — and a fitting tribute.”
The Hexum Basement, Omaha Stylee:
Night 2, mid-set, featured a Time Machine Video — and the stage was then transformed into the basement of Nick Hexum’s family’s house in 1990, when the band were young upstarts. Reappearing in full early 90’s attire, the band plays a four song set from their early demo days. “Down South”, “Slinky Girl”, “Damn” and “C.U.T.M” which they last played in 1992.
“The throwback set snowballed into something really cool. Chad (drummer) suggested we do a set of pre-‘92 songs on our old equipment. I said, “What if it looked like my Dad’s basement?” We even had vintage clothes. I wore my same go-to Pendleton flannel that I wore for demo album covers and our very first gig opening for Fugazi. Playing timbales on those songs like I used to was a blast.”
A 311 Museum at the Monte Carlo hotel was built featuring over 200 show posters spanning the band’s entire career, along with a display of a Sexton’s drumset used on tour, 2014–2017, and live art painting by poster artists, and another Artist Waves featured artist, MunkOne.
What Wasn’t Different:
The fans (the passion) — an excitable group who are not only passionate about 311 music, their community, their mission of stay positive and love your life, but also about each other.
The band (the purpose) — yes, they are elevated on stage before you, and facing the opposite direction. But really, they are amongst you, livin’ and rockin’.
“I’m enjoying the afterglow of 311 DAY. It was a super emotional experience to cover Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” combined with a montage of those we have lost. Performing so many songs was such a trip. I was nervous to debut “Places That the Mind Goes” all by myself, but the crowd response was really heartwarming. Then it was fun to sneak in “Remember Me” from the movie Coco for my wife and kids.
All my bandmates kicked ass. As did the entire 311 organization. We are so blessed to have such a fantastic fanbase. It’s a really special community. It’s a family-vibe that is diverse and all-welcoming. Many thanks!”
~ Reside west coast from the mid west, take what you like and f@$k all the rest, man. We only enter in one contest, that we made up ourselves, that’s to be the 311’est~
Jeff Gorra’s 311 Catalog:
Interview: with Nick Hexum
Interview: 311 25 Years Strong All Along
Pnut: On His MOSAIC Process
How 311 Changed My Life, By: The Excitables
Ted Bowne of Passafire, The Excitement Of Touring With 311
311 & Other Artists Share Their Favorite Lollapalooza Memories
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~ follow Jeff Gorra | twitter @JeffGorra |JeffGorra@ArtistWaves.com