Written By JAKE JERELE
Photos By RYAN JACQUOT
Published: October 23, 2010
311 uplifts Columbus crowd, hits jackpot
It’s good to see that old-school party bands like Omaha, Neb.'s 311 can still pack the house.
It’s also nice to see younger college kids in the crowd who probably got interested in 311
through older siblings and friends, and who are into music that isn’t like most modern
glamorized bands that focus on material things and gettin’ booty. With the exception of a few
drunken frat boys, most of 311’s fans fall into the more hippy, carefree college crowd that
keep the shows a fun and positive experience.
The show opened with Maryland based ska/punk band Ballyhoo. Even though this style of
band is anything but new for a 311 opening band, (Pepper, for example) they were still very
good at mixing the styles.
This is a band that clearly grew up on bands like 311, Sublime, and Green Day. In fact, the
lead singer and guitarist Howi Spangler kind of resembled a Dookie-era Billy Joe, with his
bleached blonde hair and sticker-covered guitar.
They switched from the slower ska style to a fast punk groove quickly and flawlessly and
also had some nice turntable action to keep things interesting.
Despite a short period of guitar technical difficulties, the set went on smoothly and most of
the crowd seemed to dig these young newcomers. If you are a fan of 90’s ska and punk
bands, then they are worth checking out.
After Ballyhoo, it was time for 311 to take the stage.
They exploded into the opening song “Jackpot” from their latest album Uplifter. It was a good
song to start with, but the show really kicked off with bassist P-Nut’s opening slaps to “What
Was I Thinking?,” a heavy and groovy fan favorite that got the whole place bouncing quick.
Front men Nick Hexum and S.A. Martinez were at the top of their game and kept the crowd
moving all night with their always funky and impressive rapping and singing, like in the
P-Nut showed off a nice light-up fret board on his bass and displayed his complex and super
funky bass lines and slaps. His solo was another highlight of the evening, with the crowd
wildly cheering him on.
The heavily tattooed guitarist Tim Mahoney quite possibly has the best job in the band, being
able to play the catchy riffs and solos. He also gets to start off a lot of well known and loved
songs such as “All Mixed Up,” “Do You Right” and the favorite of the ladies, the dreamy
The drum solo by Chad Sexton went on as it usually does, with an extended display of drum
skills accompanied by the rest of the band on their own drums. This would be a real treat for
a first time 311 concert viewer, but for someone like myself who has seen multiple shows, it
was kind of old news. It would be nice to see them throw in some new tricks to keep he
older fans impressed.
The set list for the evening was a good mix of songs from the band's extensive library of
tracks that were sure to keep even the most old school fan happy. Tracks like “Rub A Dub”
and “Purpose” were a refreshing touch in between the bigger “radio” songs.
The show ended with “Freak Out” and “Feels So Good,” which are two songs from 311's
first major labeled release, 1993’s Music. Although it is not uncommon for them to play
these old classics, I still get a rush when I hear them kick into them. It brought me back to
when I was a huge 311 fan in high school and couldn’t get enough of that first album.
Aside from a few rowdy folks, (who liked to start fights, throw beers, and get kicked out of a
show that they pay good money for, before the headliner’s second song) the show was a
night of good tunes and had a fun summertime vibe to it, even in October. Glad to see that
these shows haven’t changed.
311 and Ballyhoo!
When and Where?
Tues. Oct. 19
The LC in Columbus
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