Thursday, December 10, 2009


I had the pleasure of seeing 311 perform at Bayfront Park Amphitheatre in Miami last Tuesday night. I strolled into the venue around 5:00p.m., and was pleasantly surprised to hear notes of "Beautiful Disaster" drifting through the air. I glanced at the stage to my right, quite excited that I had arrived early enough to watch sound check. Nick Hexum moved around the stage, letting the music take over his body in a slow groove. I continued up the stairs to a VIP pavillion our radio station was transforming into a backyard bbq meet and greet. Standing back to survey the area, I took in the sights of a picturesque Miami evening. There was a full moon over the side that faces the bay, with a perfectly placed palm tree. I turned around to face Miami skyline, its tall buildings dotted with lights. I helped the promotions team spread out a tablecloth and placed hotel pans of pulled pork, bbq chicken, and coleslaw on the table. Stand up banners were set at the entrance to welcome our listeners to the event. As people trickled in, I worked my way through the crowd, chatting with our winners about the band and what to expect. Some had seen the band in concert multiple times, others were seeing their first live 311 show. With ten minutes until the boys were expected to roll up in a golf cart, I took to the small makeshift stage and announced that the band would be coming shortly. I asked everyone to form a line, and have their poster ready to be autographed. At the end, we would all take a large group photo with the band. I walked to the back of the line to have a poster of my own autographed, as well as one that would be framed and hung at the office. I quickly found myself chatting with lead guitarist Tim Mahoney about his tattoos. Both arms are fully sleeved, and all of the work was done freehand by the same guy in L.A., where the band lives.
I made my way down the line, thanking each member for coming on behalf of the radio station. I told Nick that it was my first 311 show, despite having been a fan since I was a teenager.
We gathered everyone for the group photo, and once again I took to the microphone to thank the crowd for listening to the station before they wandered off to their seats for the show.
After a quick cleanup, I joined the rest of the staff to enjoy the show. The band played favorites like "All Mixed Up" and "Amber", as well as album tracks like "Jack O' Lantern's Weather".
Nick Hexum spun circles around the stage, bouncing wildly but never losing the breezy quality his vocals provide.
Between songs, drummer Chad Sexton plowed through a drum solo that drove the crowd into a pumped up frenzy.
The only disappointment of the evening was the absence of 311's cover of The Cure's "Love Song." I was sincerely hoping for it to make an appearance during the encore.
Overall, a great night that left me nostalgic.

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