On August 7, 2014, 311 brought their reggae/rap-infused rock to Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines, IA , partially in support of their 11th album Stereolithic, released on March 11, 2014 (3/11 not coincidentally).
The newest album contains 15 tracks, and combined with their older material they had more than enough songs to fill the night, especially crucial to the show flow considering their opening act consisted only of a short set by a DJ.
That’s ok because the band has maintained a popular draw in the Des Moines area since the 90’s, so it was no surprise the venue was nearly full. Few shows have had this type of pull at the venue over the last couple of years. The crowd turnout consisted of lots of dreadlocks, long flowy skirts and a scent emitting from them reminiscent of pot smoke and incense; you may have thought you were at a Grateful Dead show instead of a 311 concert. Observers could conclude 311 has successfully replicated a fanbase with a tribal following similar to what the Dead has accomplished with their fans.
Considering 311 were the main draw, it was awesome to see the band come through with a set lasting a little under two hours, but seeming to last for hours, as their set list included over 20 tracks.
311 opened the show with the song Beautiful Disaster from their album Transistor released in 1997. They then played the hits most who have heard of 311 know including Amber, All Mixed Up and Come Original. But yet they threw a lot of deeper tracks in the mix for the true fans, and of course the show would not have been complete if they hadn’t played some tracks from the newest album. They closed strong with the finale including their big hit Down, which not only was their first #1 single on the Billboard Alternative Songs charts, but it also was primarily responsible for launching them into the mainstream.
Ticket prices continue to rise for more well-known acts, discouraging some from attending shows, but even at almost $40 a ticket, 311 gave their dedicated fans their money’s worth.
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