311 | 07.04.14

live 311-75311, The Urge, and the Wailers threw a great Independence Day party, complete with fireworks.




 live 311-500

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, St. Louis

Legendary Jamaican reggae band and regular tour mates with 311, the Wailers, started the night with an hour-long set that got the crowd into the mood. You couldn’t help but move with the beat.

Up next was St. Louis’s own The Urge, who kicked things up a notch. I grew up listening to The Urge, and even after all these years they put on a show that cannot be matched. Led by front man Steve Ewing, they bathed the crowd in nonstop high energy. There was always someone running across the stage and jumping through the air, which is something you usually don’t get to see with a guy carrying a trombone or a saxophone. They played many of their big hits, including “Four Letters and Two Words,” “All Washed Up,” “Brainless,” “Too Much Stereo,” and “Violent Opposition.” During another one of their live-show staples, “Open All Night,” the band threw out inflatable pickles—a nod to the line “go inside and get my pickle.”

On “Jump Right In,” Nick Hexum, lead singer for 311, came out and sang with Ewing, and the crowd went nuts. Everyone in the place was jumping up and down. (Hexum was featured on the original recording and can be seen in the music video.) The set concluded with another special guest, Tef Poe, who helped sing “It’s Getting Hectic”—which is exactly what happened.

Next it was finally time for 311, who brought with them a fantastic 23-song set. They kept things simple with a bare-bones stage, and Chad Sexton’s beautiful red drum set as the main focal point. It’s a good thing there was plenty of room on stage, because it gave Hexum space to run, jump, and spin. S.A. Martinez also had room to bust out his trademark robot dance moves.

They started the night with “Beautiful Disaster,” and then played what Hexum referred to as their slam-dance song, “Do You Right.” Other crowd favorites included “All Mixed Up,” “Come Original,” “Don’t Stay Home,” “Who’s Got the Herb?” “Amber,” “Feels So Good,” and “Down,” which Hexum said was for the “old school fans.”

After “Don’t Stay Home,” the stage lights went out and everyone left the stage except for bassist P-NUT. All you could see were the green lights in the fret of his bass. P-NUT played three epic bass solos while the crowd chanted his name. 311 obliged the fans’ request for an encore, returning to the stage to play “Tranquility” and “Creatures (For a While).” A few high-fives from Hexum to the crowd was all that remained. | Greg Artime

Photos: Greg Artime
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The Urge

The Wailers

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