Photos and Review by Bethany Anna Packer
So-Cal based bands 311 and Dirty Heads have joined forces this summer for a 29-date co-headlining tour of the U.S. that kicked off early this month and hit the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on Thursday.
311 took the stage first on this stop, following energetic opening acts from Bikini Trill and The Interrupters. The group’s eclectic hip-hop, punk, and reggae hybrid was a perfect soundtrack to the sweltering summer evening. The five -piece sampled a catalogue of songs that spanned the band’s thirteen-album catalogue, including their most recent release Voyager. The group was backed by a spectacular light show that splashed over the enthusiastic crowd as their music seamlessly transitioned between heavier rock moments, hip-hop verses and smooth reggae vibes. It’s clear to see that these guys are veterans. Nick Hexum’s powerful stage presence was magnetic, playfully jamming between bassist P-Nut and guitarist Jim Watson. Their lengthy set list was heavy with classic cuts like “Amber,” “All Mixed Up,” “Beautiful Disaster,” and “Come Original,” and was peppered with newer tracks like “Stainless,” “Better Space,” and “What The!?”. The set also included the group’s infamous five piece drum solo during “Applied Science,” each member skillfully tossing drum sticks between one another.
311 will always be a favorite band of mine, ever since I was in my early teens. It’s impressive to see the group still going strong and killing each and every performance. Their music will forever be a perfect soundtrack to the summer and their California vibe will always be welcome in New England.