Concert review: 311 at Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN – August 10, 2014

Photos and review Joe Stadele for TWTHS.

It’s no secret among fans that the live stage is where 311 thrive. Winding down their annual summer tour with a handful of intimate gigs, well, let’s just say Mill City Night in downtown Minneapolis is a small a venue for Tim Mahoney’s massive guitar pedal boards and drummer Chad Sexton’s sprawl of a kit.  

311 ©JSP 2014 (28)20 years since Grassroots, 311 treated Minneapolis to a career-spanning set, sprinkled with highlights from their latest album, Stereolithic (released on 3/11/2014). Many of the hits were there, “Come Original,” “Down,” “Amber,” “Hive” and more.  What the guys did great was book-ending new tracks with their elder counterparts.  “Showdown” followed perfectly along “Beautiful Disaster” and “Do You Right.” “Tranquility” countered “You Wouldn’t Believe” and complimented the airiness of “Use of Time.”  Essentially, the new and old were one in the 311 catalog.  [Missing was “Simple True.”  One the instant highlights of Stereolithic.]

 There was a lot for fans to enjoy.  The band answered the crowds pre-show chant, “three-eleven…three, three-eleven,”  with a flashy “Beautiful Disaster;” in which lead man Nick Hexum took turns harmonizing his Flying-V with face-to-face duels with both Tim Mahoney and bassist Aaron “P-Nut” Willis.  While Hexum and SA held down the centerstage exchanging vocal, each man had their moment in the limelight.  “Applied Science” morphed into a display of drumming precision from Chad Sexton.  P-Nut brought the fans nothing but funk, capping off his solo with non-other than the Star Wars’ “Imperial March.”

Concluding the show, 311 dropped “Six” and “Down” but fans hoped for yet a second encore.  And while they didn’t get that, the band spent an extended time thanking the fans.  Mahoney shaking hands and throwing out guitar picks.  P-Nut remained alone centerstage, hyping the audience rotating his fingers; three fingers up, then pointers as he flanked his tongue and led fans in the chant of “three-eleven…three, three-eleven.”  Just as the show began, the evening came to an end with with 1200 hot, parched and pleased fans. 

311 wrap up their summer tour this week, but if you haven't taken a moment to pick up their latest album, it’s not too late (hint: Amazon has Stereolithic onsale this week for just $5.99!).

Setlist

311 ©JSP 2014 (26)Beautiful Disaster
Do You Right
Showdown
Revelation Of The Year
All Mixed Up
Never-Ending Summer
My Stoney Baby
Tranquility
Weightless
Applied Science/Drum Solo
Hive
Come Original
Boom Shanka
Amber
Friday Afternoon
P’Nut’s Bass Solo
You Wouldn’t Believe
Existential Hero
Use Of Time
Jackpot
Creatures
Encore
Six
Down

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