Last night, 311 and Sublime with Rome lit up the Santa Barbara Bowl to a packed house of devoted fans and followers.
The whole evening had a celebratory vibe, from the pre-show music courtesy of DJ Soulman to the familiar sounds of both bands.
Taking the stage and going right into Smoke Two Joints, Sublime with Rome had the crowd up on its feet throughout their hour-long set.
Original Sublime band members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh slammed through the songs that put the Long Beach band on the map in the mid-1990s, while new vocalist/guitarist Rome Ramirez did an impressive job channeling the spirit of former front man Bradley Nowell.
The band mixed between classic Sublime tracks like Santeria, What I Got, Wrong Way, April 29 1992, Badfish, Date Rape, and Scarlet Begonias (a Grateful Dead cover) and tunes from the band’s new album Yours Truly (such as Murdera and Panic). In all, their set was a lively trip down memory lane for many of the fans in attendance, and hearing some classic Sublime songs live was a pretty enjoyable and fun way to get warmed up for 311.
Hitting the stage amid a great light display and fevered anticipation, 311 launched right into mega-hit Beautiful Disaster, from the band’s 1997 album Transistor. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Nick Hexum, rapper/DJ Doug “S.A.” Martinez, bassist Aaron “P-Nut” Wills, guitarist Tim Mahoney and drummer Chad Sexton reciprocated the crowd’s energy throughout the set, which touched on songs from all throughout the band’s career.
The band delighted hardcore fans with rarely-played songs such as Stealing Happy Hours, Large in the Margin, Purpose, 1,2,3, Six, Eons, and From Chaos, while also appealing to fans of the band’s more well-known tunes like Come Original, All Mixed Up, Down, Flowing, Amber, and Creatures (For Awhile), which ended the encore.
In all, 311’s set demonstrated the band’s ability to entertain a devoted audience with a diverse, crowd-pleasing set list of songs. In addition to reaching back deep in their catalog, the band showcased some new jams from the recently-released Universal Pulse, including Sunset in July, Rock On, Count Me In, and Time Bomb, and each had the typically crisp 311 live sound to them already. It’s clear the band enjoys playing the new songs just as much as the classics, and it comes across in the quality of their live show.
By the time the show ended around 10 pm, everyone left satisfied. 311 puts on one of the best live shows around, and considering the band is nearing its 20th year with the same lineup, that’s really saying something.
This show came at the tail end of the band’s 2011 Unity Tour. After this, 311 will rest up a bit before hitting the road again in the spring, culminating in another 311 Day event in Las Vegas. A 2-day concert this time, the weekend will be a festive celebration of the band by fans who will gather in Sin City for an unforgettable event. For more information about 311 Day 2012 and also the band’s recently-announced Cruise, visit their official website.
In addition to the video of Beautiful Disaster (which is available on the left-hand side of this page), here are some other videos from the show last night:
Sublime with Rome – What I Got
Sublime with Rome – Wrong Way
311 – Large in the Margin
311 – Count Me In