311 plays FirstMerit Bank Pavilion with Matisyahu


After taking a year off from their traditional summer show at Northerly Island’s FirstMerit Bank Pavilion because they switched last year’s to the Aragon Ballroom, 311 made a very solid return. This time they brought long time friend Matisyahu along for the ride to fans’ delight. In recent years, 311’s support/opening acts have been just as worth seeing as 311. With artists like Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Sublime with Rome, The Green and now Matisyahu.

Matisyahu arrived on stage at 7:30pm and kicked off the night with an energetic and riveting set. Having never seen him and knowing very little about his music, I was beyond impressed. His charisma and stage presence made for a spectacle. He, the fans and his current touring band had a great time. Tim Keiper was on the drums, Aaron Dugan on the guitar, Stu Brooks on the bass, and Big Yuki on the keyboards. I hope to see Matisyahu again.

After a short break, 311 took the stage. Nick and SA let the crowd know right away that they were very thankful to still be doing what they love after all these years. They started off their set with “Do You Right,” setting the tone for a funky and wild night.

From there, 311 put on a display of continuous fan favorites. Fans rejoiced at songs like “Strong All Along,” “Come Original,” “Five of Everything,” and “Amber.” Nick and SA share a brotherly bound and never try to outdo each other on stage.

P-Nut split up the main set with a rousing bass solo. They started the second half of the set with the not often played Transistor song “What Was I Thinking.” The chorus is heavy hitting both lyrically and instrumentally; I could barely contain myself. Nick and SA quickly jumped into “Wake Your Mind Up” calling on fans to be more aware of life. My favorite of the night was “Applied Science.” Chad Sexton plays such an intense drum solo.

The band was gone for only a couple minutes before starting the encore with one of their newest songs “Tranquility.” Totally different in vibe from the rest of 311’s show, this felt more like a slow song to dance to on a moonlit beach. The night ended with “Creatures (For a While),” bringing out the heaviest guitar riffs.

Overall, the night was memorable. Matisyahu’s set fit perfectly well with 311’s ambiance. And 311’s set spanned many albums, showing how they have changed and grown over the years. These guys show no signs of stopping any time soon and I feel that they have a lot more new music to bring to the masses in years to come. And I’m all for it!

Matisyahu Gallery:

And I decided to separate the galleries up so you could enjoy each artist’s photos separately.

311 Gallery:

Brett Bergen

Brett Bergen

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