Fans unite for 311 and Sublime w/ Rome at The 2014 Unity Tour

311 and Sublime with Rome

July 14, 2014

Stage AE- Pittsburgh, PA

            The forecast called for strong thunderstorms and hail for the evening of July 14, 2014 in Pittsburgh, but this didn’t stop the rocking fans of Ballyhoo,Sublime with Rome, and 311 from coming out to Stage AE. Beer pong and corn hole tables littered the parking lot with a crowd sucking down their pre show drinks.

Sublime w-Rome-9  311 are promoting their new album Stereolithic on their annual Unity Tour this year. This tour brought out a mixture of die-hard and relatively new fans, but all rocked out equally as hard. Dark ominous clouds lurked in the sky at the start of the show, but the mixture of pop, reggae, and punk rock sound of Ballyhoo injected us with a carefree feeling to start out the night. Raindrops plummeted screaming fans as Ballyhoo bid us farewell, but the anticipation continued to build for Sublime with Rome. I heard people in the crowd voiced their opinion of Rome taking original front man Bradley Nowell’s place, around me. Though Rome is a great front man and controlled the energy of the band, reminding us of the great hits we were about to witness by morphing the crowd into a jumping mosh for their opening song Saw Red. A few songs in, the rain tampered away, and Rome said, “now we have a moment to light up” and clouds of sensimilla flowed asSmoke Two Joints started. Their set continued with mostly nostalgic hits and a few new ones with an encore of STP and What I Got. Rome expressed his love for Pittsburgh and Bradley as they departed the stage. You can never trust predictions of the weather and the immense storms never manifested and the dark clouds cleared to open beautiful skies for headlining act 311.

Chants of ,“Three! Eleven! Three, three eleven!” echoed throughout the crowd and fans put their arms around each other as a sign of their unity. The lights finally dimmed and a well blended mixture of subtle green and blue lights flashed across the stage as the band members ran out. Lead singer Nick Hexum sported a flying V guitar and screamed “What’s Up Pittsssburghhh!” and the pent up energy of the crowd exploded as they opened with Beautiful Disaster. 311-3Their 3rd song,The Great Divide from Stereolithic, had us all jumping for the stars and the audience rocked to all their new songs throughout their set list as if the tunes had been known for years. After Applied Science was played, Hexum expressed his appreciation for coming out and the crowd screamed in assurance as he said “now isn’t this the best Monday you’ve ever had?!” It was about to get better as a hazy violet spotlight was cast upon drummer Chad Sexton for an amazing drum solo. We all have seen drum solos before but soon a gong, 2 sets of 3 piece drums with crash cymbals, and some type of large hanging sheet metal was wheeled onto the stage during the solo. The rest of the band then joined Chad with a flurry of beats that pumped into the crowd as cheers were made then Flowing was played.

Their set list continued with a mixture of songs from their new album and older albums like EvolverSoundsystemFrom Chaos311; and Transistor. I saw some of the oldest and youngest crowd surfers ever while the aroma of marijuana carried through the air. You ended up being high at this show whether you toke or not. Most shows sport a nice guitar solo, but after Friday Afternoon Hexum addressed attention to P-Nut with a colorful lit up bass guitar to let loose a wicked bass solo within a teal green light. The solo ended with the familiar riff of Imperial March from Star Wars as applause was made to lead right into Sick Tight. Throughout the entire set, DJ/Vocalist SA Martinez danced in a robot like fashion and sweated up a storm to the point he changed his clothes during P-Nut’s solo! The band members left the stage after performing Creatures, but we could not settle down as the chants of “Three! Eleven! Three, Three Eleven!” continued. The band returned for an encore with a brand new song Beyond The Gray Sky and then closed with the historic hit Down. Hexum expressed his gratitude to us all and explained their Unity Tour could not be possible without the contribution of Sublime with Rome, Ballyhoo and love from all of us. P-Nut stayed behind for a few minutes after the other members left and continued to gesture to keep our applause going.

311 have an astonishing stage presence and continue to tour extensively showing their true commitment and appreciation for their fans. Most shows have a general similarity in the type of people in the crowd but this show brought out a diverse group and of all ages. The 2014 Unity Tour is halfway over now and you better make it to a show near you. If you don’t have the time then tell your boss to f**k off, cancel other plans, or at least support their new album Stereolithic. Thunder, rain, and even Monday could not prevent the unification of the differences I saw in the audience and that is the magic of 311’s Unity Tour, so go experience it.

Review by: Chad Johnston


Sublime with Rome