311 made their annual summer trip to Chicago with a stop at Huntington Bank Pavilion. This year’s support brings in The Skints from London and New Politics from Brooklyn. Every year 311 gets more and more creative with the changing up of their setlists. It makes you actually want to travel to see them in multiple cities. This year they are touring in support of their new album Mosaic. The new album is solid and brings fans back to the earlier sounds of 311. Something that had been lacking from the previous 2 albums.
The Skints took the stage first. With not knowing who they were, I was very impressed with their set. This quartet is a heavily influenced reggae punk band. The vocals are split between 3 of the 4 members. Marcia Richards captivated the crowd that had arrived early. She was multifaceted splitting duties between keyboard, guitar, sax, sampler, and vocals. Joshua Waters Rudge persona on stage was that of a confident leader leading the fans in attendance throughout the set. These guys fit so well with a 311 show. By the end of their set, they had made a lot of new fans out of the audience. Their final song, “Eyes in the Back of My Head” had the crowd hooked.
New Politics were up next and they had a completely different energy. They reminded me of a 3 man Twenty One Pilots. David, Søren, and Louis put on a rousing show for the crowd and a decent sized amount of Politics fans. One of the highlights early in their set was when they covered the Beastie Boys song “Sabotage”. This surprised the hell out of the crowd. Louis was all over the place on his kit and you realize he is one of the more energetic drummers to see live currently. It may be a smaller kit compared to a lot of bands out there, but he makes great use of it.
David went back and forth between singing and break dancing. Something I wasn’t expecting, but it did add a lot to the show. Søren was the craziest out of the trio, jumping and running all over the stage while singing throughout the show. The set had them firing up the crowd throughout and ended it all with their biggest hit “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens)”. Overall it was a great set, but it felt like New Politics is not right for the bill. They felt out of place. The next time they make it back and they are an opener or headliner, I see them fitting in with the likes of 30 Seconds to Mars or Shiny Toy Guns.
Once Nick, SA, and the rest of 311 arrived on stage, the venue was nearly at capacity. They kicked off the show right away by diving into Mosaic. “Perfect Mistake” was a great launching point for their set. It hits hard immediately and just threw the crowd into a frenzy. From there the set flowed effortlessly through old and new albums. Much of the show brought the heavy favorites, but with this being a new album tour, you weren’t going to hear rarities. They did debut 2 brand new songs live with “Til the City’s on Fire” and “Face in the Wind”. Both songs were well received with City’s on Fire having potential to grow some legs.
Out of the countless hits that were played during the main set, “Beautiful Disaster”, You Wouldn’t Believe”, and “Hydroponic” resonated the most with fans. A mish mash of old and new, but songs that hold special places in fan’s hearts. The biggest surprise was during P-Nut’s bass solo when he covered Twenty One Pilot’s “Heathens”. Such an interesting take on the song via Bass, but it worked well.
The encore was shorter than I was expecting, but closing with “Down” was the best way they could have ended it. Overall you are going to get a Mosaic heavy show this tour. About half of the show was from the new album, but that is not a bad thing. The new album is solid and well worth hearing the new tracks live. If you are looking for the band to dive into their rarer tracks, I wouldn’t recommend this tour. Still 311 entertains as always and the drum solo into the full band drums is always a sight to see.
They still have an extensive tour ahead of them so go see them when they hit your city and get there early to see the opening acts.
- Perfect Mistake > 2. Come Original > 3. Homebrew > 4. Wildfire > 5. All Mixed Up > 6. Too Much to Think > 7. Beautiful Disaster > 8. Til the City’s on Fire (Live Debut) > 9. Hive > 10. Amber > 11. One and the Same > 12. P-Nut Bass Solo > 13. Lucky > 14. Face in the Wind (Live Debut) > 15. You Wouldn’t Believe > 16. Hydroponic > 17. Applied Science > 18. Too Late > 19. Beyond the Gray Sky > 20. Day’s of 88 > 21. Creatures for a While
22. On a Roll > 23. Down
Photo set for The Skints, New Politics, and 311: