REVIEW: 311 Does It Again; Band Rocks NYC on Unity Tour 2017

Nebraska-based rock band 311, who get their name from the Omaha police code for indecent exposure, returned to NYC on Tuesday, July 11th, to perform their hits and some new toon’s on the 2017 edition of the band’s long-running Unity Tour. Last summer’s Unity Tour was my first time seeing 311, so this year’s was obviously my second, but it featured another first for me: checking out support act New Politics, who have been all the rage lately and are definitely going to be up to big things in the future

I’ll keep my thoughts brief on New Politics because I feel my photos say more about h0w much fun the band is than I can with words, so you’ll definitely want to check out the gallery right below this. Suffice it to say, New Politics are one I’ve wanted to check out for a while and a big reason why I wanted to do 311 again, and they were definitely worth every minute of their 9-song, 40-ish minute set highlighted by lead singer David Boyd’s breakdance session set to an instrumental version of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, followed immediately by a cover of Sabotage by local hip hop legends Beastie Boys (RIP MCA). All I’ll say now is if you have the change to see New Politics live, you’d have to be high not to. They’re worth it and their music kicks ass. I’ll let the gallery tell their story.

David Boyd breakdancing at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC

And on to 311 we go. We covered them once before, and their shows are all pretty much the same. Full of energy, full of fun, full of dancing by SA Martinez and full of kick ass guitar riffs and vocals by Nick Hexum. This night would be no different, as the band would rattle off 24 tunes including the 3-song encore that ended – obviously – with Down, as every show does. The guys kicked it off with the new one, Perfect Mistake, off their latest album Mosaic and eventually played Syntax Error live for the first time. That was a nice treat, hearing the live debut of a new song is always fun.

The setlist is too large to go through it the way I did last year, so I’ll stick to the highlights: Beautiful Disaster, Too Much to Think, Hey Yo, the drum solo on Applied Science as usual, Random, Come Original and Omaha Stylee. And most of those were just in the first 21 songs, with the exception of Omaha Stylee which was part of the encore. That’s a lot of songs, even for a headliner, but that’s how 311 does business and the fans love it, so why change? Especially when you’ve got 10 new songs to offer up – of the 17 on Mosaic – along with a bunch of hits?

At this point I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story. 311 were responsible for another killer show this summer, and props to them for bringing New Politics with them and exposing me to a great new band. This tour is definitely one of my favorites so far this year, so if you’ve got a chance to check out 311 – and chances are you do with the tour running another two months – you should make it a priority. Photo gallery below.

Nick Hexum of 311 performing at Hammerstein Ballroom