311 is in the middle of their Unity Tour to promote their tenth studio album titled Universal Pulse. The tour began on the Fourth of July and runs through September 5. 311 tickets are available for the remaining shows. Nearly all the remaining shows also feature Slightly Stoopid and SOJA.
The Unity Tour set lists include many new numbers from the album as well as some old favorites. New songs that are seeing regular play include Sunset in July, Count Me In, and Time Bomb. 311 also plays several other numbers from Universal Pulse at each gig.
Old hits are also represented at the shows. Down and Amber have been played at most shows. Beautiful Disaster and Come Original are also given heavy play. The band does a good job of mixing in crowd-pleasing favorites while also giving their new material plenty of exposure.
Universal Pulse serves up an interesting mix of fuzz guitar, pounding beats, rap and jazz-like riffs and melodies. Their unique fusion of rock, metal, rap and reggae is showcased well on the album. Count Me In has a peppy beat and Caribbean feel that is typical of most of the cuts. Sunset in July” has a carefree party vibe that meshes beautifully with lazy summer days. Sunset in July is bouncy, with lyrics that perfectly encapsulate the glee of summer freedom. The two tunes are almost pop songs.
Trouble combines a driving drumbeat with a pretty melody on the chorus that seems to contradict the lyrics. Wild Nights has some guitar licks that seem to be inspired by 1970s acid rock.
Rock On is darker, with a thumping beat and driving rap lyrics. The guitar distortion, electronic noise and grim lyrics paint a somber picture. The tone of this song seems out of place when compared to the rest of the album. With the exception of Rock On, the album is a lighthearted backdrop for hanging out on the back deck in the cool evening breeze.
The 2012 Unity Tour is the tenth straight year of headlining an amphitheater tour for 311. One remaining show will be a multi-band festival. The Summerdaze Festival at Sandstone Amphitheater in the Kansas City area is August 18. Other acts scheduled to appear with 311 and Slightly Stoopid include SOJA, The Urge, Mac Lethal and Six Percent.
The earlier shows on the tour have received good reviews. Anyone with 311 tickets expect a party, and thus far they haven t been disappointed. As with any band, some fans complain that there are too many or too few past hits, or there isn t enough exposure for new material. There will always be some fans who feel the concert isn’t long enough, even when the band plays for almost two hours as 311 has done on the tour. The quality of the music, though, is never in doubt. 311 knows their fan loyalty is largely based on the summer tour experience, so they make sure the fans don t go away disappointed.
The author of this post is Becky W. She is a freelance writer that loves to write on a number of things such as music, food, and education. In her spare time she tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle and try new dishes in the kitchen.