311 and Dirty Heads Bring Feel-Good Summer Hits to Michigan – Tour Review

2019-07-08

311’s Nick Hexum in Mount Pleasant, Michigan – Review and photos by Anne Erickson

Review + photos: 311 and Dirty Heads performed breezy summer sets on tour in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

311 and Dirty Heads are heading up the perfect tour for the summer months, as both bands play feel-good, breezy alternative rock that fits well in an outdoor setting.

The tour – which also features special guest the Interrupters, Dreamers and Bikini Trill – reached Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort on Wednesday (July 3), and the show was an early stop on their tour, which will last through August.

Following an opening set from the Interrupters, Dirty Heads took the stage at Soaring Eagle’s Entertainment Hall in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, around 8 p.m. playing to an already packed theater. The guys traded rap-infused reggae lines as they pummeled through songs such as “Burn Slow,” “My Sweet Summer,” “Lift Me Up” and, their biggest hit to date, “Lay Me Down,” giving the crowd an energizing blend of more than a dozen songs.

Next up, 311 hit the stage around 9:45 p.m. Following a dramatic 15 minute countdown — complete with a haunting image of planet earth and a countdown clock on the stage’s main screen — singer-guitarist Nick Hexum and company hit the stage singing their familiar mid-’90s hit, “Don’t Stay Home.”

Following “Don’t Stay Home,” the guys launched into their 1997 alternative chart-topper “Beautiful Disaster,” which is one of their most recognizable songs and a personal favorite for this journalist. “Beautiful disaster / Flyin’ down the street again,” Hexum enthusiastically sang, as the crowd mouthed along.

The rest of the evening brought a mix of 311 favorites — “Come Original,” “All Mixed Up,” “Amber,” “Creatures (For a While)” — as well as some new songs off the band’s upcoming album, “Voyager,” out Friday (July 12). A few of those new songs included polished versions of “What The?” and “Dream State.”

One exciting moment from the evening was when Hexum announced to the crowd that the band was going to play a new song live for the first time. From there, they kicked into a swirling sonic landscape of “Space and Time,” off “Voyager.”

Throughout the show, Hexum, singer S.A. Martinez, guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton and bass player P-Nut brought a dynamic, high-octane show that simply flowed. The evening was full of surprises, too, such as a lengthy drum solo which had all band members playing drums and rhythms.

With 311’s musical chemistry stronger than ever, this summer tour shows what sets them apart. As Hexum announced during the show, 311 is made of the of the same five guys, and they’ve been together for 29 years. It’s a legacy that few bands reach, and it’s why their live shows have stood the test of time.

311 at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

311 at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

311 at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

311 at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

311 at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

Dirty Heads at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

Dirty Heads at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

Dirty Heads at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, by Anne Erickson

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