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Gig recap: 311 and the Wheeland Brothers at the Pacific Amphitheater 8/3

311 at the Pacific Amphitheater 8/3
311 at the Pacific Amphitheater 8/3
Stephen Lashbrook

311's concert at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, CA on 8/3

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This past Sunday, 311 brought their summer tour to the friendly confines of the Pacific Amphitheater, adjacent to the O.C. Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

Essentially serving as a 'hometown' show of sorts, the gig was packed with enthusiastic fans, friends, and family of the band - several children of band members were on stage for much of the night, in fact - and the whole evening had a vibe of warmth as a result.

Opening the show were locally-based Wheeland Brothers, who also had their own cheering section of family and friends on-hand. A perfect opener for a 311 show, the Wheelands played a roughly thirty-minute set filled with anthems about beach living, feeling good, California (lots of California references) and being true to yourself - all in an engaging, acoustic guitar and reggae/rock style.

Check 'em out if you're into bands like the Dirty Heads, Pepper, 311 (obviously), Iration and other stalwarts of the reggae/rock scene.

As for 311, they played a bit of a 'Greatest Hits' set, something to be expected at an O.C. Fair slot (and an early Sunday night gig due to sound regulations). That said, the crowd ate up "Amber", "Love Song", "All Mixed Up", "Beautiful Disaster" and "Creatures (For a While") and other hits, but it was the new songs from Stereolithic ("The Great Divide", "Boom Shanks", "Friday Afternoon", "Existential Hero", "Tranquility") that came across the freshest - after all, Stereolithic is arguably 311's finest album in more than a decade.

As usual, 311 sounded flawless on stage, as Nick Hexum, S.A. Martinez, Aaron "P-Nut" Wills, Chad Sexton and Tim Mahoney have one of the most solid live sounds around. The new songs meshed with the old songs pretty well, creating a set list that essentially showcases 311's depth over the years (something they also do quite well live - blending in songs and styles from throughout their career).

In all, it was another strong evening from one of the hardest-working bands around. Their tour is ongoing, so check their site for more details.

311 set list, Costa Mesa 8/3:

  • 1. Beautiful Disaster
  • 2. Freeze Time
  • 3. Showdown
  • 4. All Mixed Up
  • 5. Don’t Stay Home
  • 6. Amber
  • 7. Boom Shanka
  • 8. You Wouldn’t Believe
  • 9. Friday Afternoon
  • 10. Applied Science
  • 11. The Great Divide
  • 12. Come Original
  • 13. Love Song
  • 14. Existential Hero
  • 15. Beyond the Gray Sky
  • BASS SOLO
  • 16. Do You Right
  • 17. Jackpot
  • 18. Who’s Got The Herb
  • 19. Random
  • 20. Creatures (For a While)
  • e:
  • 21. Tranquility
  • 22. Down