311 Comes to Baltimore
Nov 10, 2010 09:32PM ● Published by Anonymous
Pier Six Pavilion (www.piersixpavilion.com) is a rather underrated venue in Baltimore. Fans who want to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars off the stage can hang out in front of the venue where the tour buses corral. An intimate waterfront pavilion, the setting is perfect for bands like 311, who struggle with reaching younger fans but maintain a devoted fan base that has followed them since the early or mid- '90s. 311 caters to those fans well, on this particular night reaching back to Transistor and the self-titled breakout album that made them nationally known to start the show. In fact, it wasn't until very last song that the latest album, Uplifter, was even acknowledged, when "Jackpot" closed the show.
To see a 311 show on a regular tour is to witness a formula that has been proven successful. The band opens strong, breaking out the classics, before reaching an intermission of sorts with a Chad Sexton drum solo. Some years back, the band made the drum solo much less a solo and more of a group effort, with each of Nick Hexum, Tim Mahoney, SA Martinez and P-Nut smashing on their own floor tom in unison with Sexton.
As the show wound down, Hexum followed the tradition, welcoming P-Nut to "beat that thing" on his signature bass solo. The bassist did exactly that, on a custom Warwick bass guitar with lights built into the fretboard inlays. The encore, which seems to be a dying art in modern shows, brought a Grassroots standard in "Omaha Stylee" and "Jackpot" as mentioned above.
Fans of 311 from years back knew what they were getting when they had their ticket scanned at Pier Six. First-timers were sufficiently rocked. While the years have somewhat tamed the sound of the band, those same years haven't detracted from their live set.