311 brought their MOSAIC tour to Detroit with an epic, high-energy show with support from New Politics and The Skints.

The Skints from London get the evening rolling with their blend of reggae, ska, and dub.  The early crowd is immediately drawn into the music as they dance and wave to the beats.  Multi-instrumentalist Marcia Richards is a focal point as she dances, sings, and plays the keyboards, sampler, and melodica.  The latter being a small, handheld keyboard that is played by blowing into a mouthpiece.  It gets a great crowd reaction for both its unique sound, as well as the visual of Marcia playing it.  The Skints are a great choice to open this tour to get the crowd warmed up for the bands to come, and touring with 311 will help expand their fan base.

Up next are New Politics, originally from Denmark, but now residing in Brooklyn, NY.  They have been around since 2009 and toured with the likes of Fall Out Boy and Paramore.  Their music can be described as a mix of alternative rock and punk.  They run through an uplifting 45-minute set that spans their 3 album releases.  Their set includes fan favorites and singles “Yeah Yeah Yeah”, “Dignity”, “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens)”, and “Harlem”, as well as the new song “One of Us”.  They even throw in a cover of The Beastie Boys song “Sabotage”.  Their set has the crowd amped up as they sing, clap, wave, bounce, and cheer.

New Politics is just a 3-piece, but their sound is much bigger.  Most songs consist of the powerful drumming of Louis Vecchio, the guitar of Soren Hansen, along with vocals from David Boyd.  In addition, Soren lends vocals to many of the songs, as well as plays the piano on “One of Us”.  Soren is a dynamic performer.  He jumps, thrashes his hair, plays the guitar and throws it into the air and catches it, and sings backup vocals with angst.  To add to the energy and diversity of their set, David Boyd break dances several times including spins and head stands, and also climbs into the crowd.  From the great crowd reaction tonight, touring with 311 will serve to help expand their fan reach.

The last time 311 played the metropolitan Detroit area in July 2016, their set was cut way short due to a storm.  Any fans who were at that show are certainly anxious for a full set tonight from their heroes.  311 has a dedicated fan base that comes back year after year and many travel to see them at the annual 311 Day show, as well as their cruise.

The lights finally dim and the crowd erupts as 311 takes the stage.  The band is touring in support of their 12th studio album MOSAIC that was released on June 23.  They waste no time as they kick off the set with “Perfect Mistake” from it.  The near-capacity crowd is on their feet and the main floor is a madhouse.  The fans bounce, dance, clap, wave, and sing along throughout the evening.  Some fans even engage in some moshing and crowd surfing.

Vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum is on fire tonight with his energy as he jumps, spins, and head bangs on almost every song.  Somehow, he manages to sing in between all of his stage action.  In addition, he plays the guitar on several songs including a solo during “Wildfire” and plays a Flying V during “Jackpot”.  During the song “Down” he is out of control as launches multiple jumps with the guitar.  Sharing vocal duties is S.A. Martinez who stalks the stage non-stop and throws in some poses and moves of his own.

A stealth MVP in this band is guitarist Tim Mahoney, who tonight is dimly lit off to the left side of the stage.  He may not be as active front and center like Nick and S.A., but his talents cannot be ignored.  His guitar riffs power the diverse songs and on many occasions, he tears off notes at lightning speed.  A good example of his stellar playing comes during “Use of Time” when his guitar virtuosity stands out like a shredder in a metal band.  He also trades licks with Nick on several songs throughout the set including “Wildfire” and “Down”.  He is truly an underrated guitarist.

Bassist P-Nut is never one to disappoint the fans either.  His bass playing is top notch and can be felt and heard.  He lays down a solid groove that adds a cool, funky vibe and driving rhythm to every song.  A highlight for many fans at any 311 concert is his bass solo.  During tonight’s solo, he throws in a cover of Twenty One Pilot’s “Heathens”.  The fans love P-Nut.

During the song “Applied Science”, the band exits except for drummer Chad Sexton.  For the next 5 minutes or so, Chad works his way through a varied drum solo that touches all of his massive drum set.  And just when you think his solo is winding down, the rest of the band joins him as each plays additional drums and cymbals that are brought out on the stage.  The fans are going nuts at this point as S.A. plays the drums like a robot and then all the band members start tossing their drumsticks to each other.  This is by far one of the most entertaining drum solos this reviewer has seen.  Judging by the deafening cheers, it seems the fans would agree.

8 songs from MOSAIC are spread throughout the setlist including the first live performance of “One and the Same”, but there is still plenty of time to dive into hits from many of their other 11 albums.  The complete 311 setlist tonight is “Perfect Mistake”, “Do You Right”, “Full Ride”, “Come Original”, “Wildfire”, “Offbeat Bare Ass”, “All Mixed Up”, “Lucky”, “Island Sun”, “Don’t Stay Home”, “Freeze Time”, “Beautiful Disaster”, “Bass Solo”, “Too Much to Think”, “Plain”, “Hey Yo”, “Jackpot”, “Applied Science”, “Down”, “Use of Time”, Extension”, “Random”, “Amber”, “One and the Same”, “Hydroponic”, “Creatures (For a While)”, “Omaha Stylee”, “Too Late”, “Fuck the Bullshit”.

This show is one that most fans will never forget.  Because of the shortened show last summer, they get an extended set this evening that is probably 8 or 9 songs longer than the sets that other cities will get during this tour.  The show leaves these fans with little energy after 2 hours and 15 minutes of non-stop fun.  They could not be happier.

311 are originally from Omaha, NE, but now reside in Los Angeles.  They are on tour in the US through August 20 plus a festival date in Virginia Beach on September 1.

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New Politics
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The Skints
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Event Date: 25-June-2017