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Review: 311 at the Marquee Theatre

311 played the Marquee Theatre in Tempe Tuesday night. Photo by Lenni Rosenblum.
311 played the Marquee Theatre in Tempe Tuesday night. Photo by Lenni Rosenblum.

A typical Tuesday night was twisted upside down when 311 graced the Marquee Theater in Tempe. The Nebraska natives put on a solid show that drew in crowds of all types — from hardcore rocker fans blowing off steam to brace-faced high school kids trying to catch a break.

With a standing-room-only audience, 311 kicked off its set with “Down," bringing the energy through the roof and making it quickly obvious why this band has been selling out shows for more than two decades.

The band's unique ability to combine different sounds, styles and music genres has earned 311 a well-deserved reputation for putting on a great live show. Radio hits “Amber” and “All Mixed Up” offered prime examples of 311’s musical diversity. The band members showcased themselves as professionals who have really mastered their craft as musicians and entertainers — all while making their audience feel relaxed and comfortable.

When Nick Hexum and Doug ‘SA’ Martinez sang colorful vocals on top of the polished guitar of Tim Mahony in “Running” and “Beautiful Disaster,” it revealed how powerful the band’s chemistry is. The set list could’ve used some revision, but the songs still flowed together, whether the tunes had edge and power like “Jackpot” or were a tender, passionate crowd favorite such as “Love Song.”

The real surprise of the night came about ten songs in when the beast of the beats, drummer Chad Sexton, gave an out-of-this-world drum solo during “Applied Science.” Not one piece of his ridiculously huge drum set went untouched. The magic continued with a group drum routine, ultimately leaving the audience in an uproar. Aaron ‘P-nut’ Wills also proved his spot on stage with a bass solo showing everyone just how he can “slap dat bass," as the crowd eloquently chanted.

Another shocker of the night was the opening act, Katastro. The band had a serious groove and swag that left everyone psyched and impressed.

The positive, carefree mentality that 311 is known for carried the band and its fans throughout the night until the guys closed with "Feels So Good" and the encore, “Creatures.” With their tenth album being released before summer and big tour packages following, 311 is back on everyone's radar.

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