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Review & Photos: 311, Tropidelic






By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications

     For more than 30 years Omaha rap-rock-funk-reggae quintet 311 have maintained their original lineup and toured consistently. With a jam band-like following, 311’s performances are often an annual (or more) tradition for diehard fans and newer fans alike. 
    The band’s stage presence has without a doubt contributed to their longevity; 311 consistently remains an entertaining live band. If you’re not singing along to “Come Original,” Amber,” or their “Lovesong” cover, then you’re engrossed in P-Nut’s bass solo and Chad Sexton’s one of a kind drum solo (followed by an incredible stick throwing drum line set) and the distinct pedals and tuning of guitarist Tim Mahoney; if not that, then you’re smiling and enjoying the vocalist duo’s dances—S.A. Martinez’s robot motions and Nick Hexum’s turns. The active, vivid lighting packed a punch as well.  
    The set list pleased fans of all the band’s eras—especially those from the mid-90’s with top notch performances from 311’s self-titled “blue album.”  
    This tour will be celebrating the band’s first six albums with special full-album performances in three cities when the tour concludes: NYC: 311 will play Music (10/1) and Grassroots (10/2); Chicago: 311 will play the Blue Album (10/22) and Transistor (10/23); Los Angeles: 311 will play Soundsystem (11/11) and From Chaos (11/12).  
    The shows will also feature support acts that opened for the band during those eras: Bronx Slang, The Urge, Phunk Junkeez.  
    The dynamic band’s sold-out fall tour opener last night did not disappoint and will no doubt keep crowds returning.  
    Cleveland’s multi-talented, festival favorite Tropidelic opened the show; a feel good band that gets you up like The Pietasters and makes you vibe like The Police.  
    They owned the stage with sincere positive energy and quickly gained the crowd’s attention with a trumpet, a trombone (and later a tuba), mini guitar solos and catchy rhythmic drumming—all of which was fused with original rapping and singing. 
     Fans partook in a call and response sing along while hitting beach balls and relishing in the band’s satisfying combo of ska, hip-hop, rock, and reggae.