Live: 311 & Sublime w/Rome (8-19-11)

Live: 311 & Sublime w/Rome (8-19-11)

Date: Friday August 19th, 2011
Line up: 311 & Sublime With Rome
Location: San Diego, CA @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
What: The Summer Unity Tour 2011

The Summer 2011 Unity Tour made it’s stop through sunny San Diego, CA at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, more accurately located in Chula Vista, CA on Friday the 19th. The 7 week tour began on July 8th with both 311 & Sublime with Rome promoting new albums. Warming up the night was DJ Soulman & DJ Trichrome who had been opening up the entire tour, spinning dance-hall, reggae, dub-step & hip hop. Doors opened up at 6pm, which seemed a bit early for a Friday night, especially with most of the schools back in session from the summer.

With the sun showing its last signs of life, fans erupted to the sampled intro playing ”She was living in a single room with 3 other individuals. One of them was male & the other 2, why hell, the other 2 were female…” Sublime With Rome hit the stage close to 8pm opening the night with crowd favorite, Smoke 2 Joints, before diving into new song Lovers Rock. Rome gave a big shout out to San Diego, stating he has a lot of family that lives in town and it was in San Diego, where he was first introduced to Sublime.

Also performing on stage with Sublime with Rome was DJ Rocky Rock & Dr. Todd Forman on Saxophone/Keys. For those that don’t know, Todd Forman was tied to the original Sublime growing up, but he was also a part of the reformation, performing live with the group until the Summer Unity Tour began. Replacing Forman on the Unity Tour was DJ Rocky Rock (Dirty Heads, Black Eyed Peas), but fans were treated to a full live sound with the addition of both DJ Rocky Rock & Todd Forman in San Diego! Bud Gaugh looked to be in true form, dropping the high hand snare drop while Eric Wilson blasted a cigarette the entire set, often lighting up in-between songs.

They performed new songs from their new album, Yours Truly, such as ”Panic”, “My World”, “Take It Or Leave It”, “Safe & Sound” and ”Lovers Rock”. When reviewing Yours Truly, I really wasn’t impressed with the song ”My World”, but hearing it live left a much better impression and received a great response from the crowd. Following the performance of ”Doin Time”, Todd Forman played a mini sax-solo outro that led into the new Dubstep anthem, ”Safe & Sound”. Before playing ”Take It Or Leave It”, Rome announced that this would be the groups next single to follow “Panic” and earlier in the week, the group filmed the music video for “Take It Or Leave It” right here in San Diego.

It was cool to hear & see them blend some older Sublime songs, playing a medley combining ”Don’t Push”, “Garden Grove” and ”Right Back” in one outing. During the performance of ”Badfish”, as well as ”Santeria”, the crowd sang along while a sea of hands swayed with the melody. The Crowd was like a backing chorus hanging on every word, singing along while Rome manned the mic, guiding the audience like a pastor.

Rome called out their Manager & good friend, Cheeze, who appeared with an acoustic guitar only to come out and help perform, ”What I Got”. All in all, Sublime with Rome performed about 20 songs, blending some of the new songs with sublime classics. They ended the night with ”Date Rape”, but judging by the live performance, it’s evident that the fan favorite in San Diego this night was ”Santeria”. The crowd was calling for an encore but to their disappointment, fans watched as crew members tore down the stage to make way for 311. Check the entire Sublime with Rome set list below.

311 hit the stage at 9:30pm to what I’d call a solid live performance. From the stage production & lighting, to the execution of each song, 311 had the pulse of the crowd from the second they opened up with ”Beautiful Disaster”, followed by ”Prisoner”.

Aside from being capable of producing & performing good music, the other thing that really stands out to me about 311, is that the group has celebrated the same line up since the groups inception in 1988. The only lineup change this group has seen was in the 80’s when lead guitarist Jim Watson was replaced by Tim Mahoney. Since then, the group has released 10 albums as a collective unit, with each album exploring the many dimensions of the groups sound & diversity blending Alternative Rock, Reggae, Dub & Hip Hop. There are not many groups that can say they’ve celebrated the same line up for 20+ years and in the case of 311, they show it in their live performance & production.

They introduced their new single ”Sunset In July”, from their new album Universal Pulse as the crowd openly welcomed the new song with head bobbin, hand waiving & booty shakin. Vocalist, SA Martinez displayed Robotic moves on stage as he delivered each verse, blasting the crowd with pure energy & passion. Nick Hexum admitted to the audience when he said ”Kinda on a Transistor tip right now” before introducing Rub-A-Dub from the Transistor album. It was just a couple weeks ago that the group performed the Transistor album in its entirety for the first time at the 311 Pow-Wow Festival in Florida.

They played classics such as ”Down”, “All Mixed Up”, “Come Original”, “Sick Tight”, and the “Happy Slam Dance” song titled ”Do You Right”. The Omaha boys played for close to 2 hours drawing a great response with songs like ”Jackpot” and ”Wild Night”.

The peak of the set and probably the night came when 311 performed ”Applied Science”. This song includes the infamous drum solo performed by Chad Sexton. The song is featured on the Grassroots album with the solo lasting only about 30 seconds, but when performed live, 311 takes it into a full production and Friday was no different. Each member had in front of them drums, snares & symbols. The group accented & added to the brilliance of Chad’s solo with members throwing sticks to each other in the air & catching them on Que with the beat. All of that met with great lighting displaying different colors of smoke blowing from the screaming crowd.

This was a solid set by 311 who really brought home the show with their production & performance on stage. Sublime with Rome carried the evening & displayed the most soul & energy during “Santeria” and “Badfish”, showing the spirit of how timeless music will always live on. It was nothing but feel good music Friday night with a great blend of Reggae, Hip Hop, Alternative Rock, Punk, Ska & Rub-A-Dub! This was a great line up to a show, yet alone a tour and both groups filled the night with electric energy.

– Article by: Mike Patti
– Photos by: Jenni Anspach

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Sublime With Rome Set-List
Smoke 2 Joints
Lovers Rock
Wrong Way
Dont Push – Garden Grove – Right Back
April 29th
Take It Or Leave It
Scarlett Begonias
My World
Lets Go Get Stoned
Doin’ Time
Safe & Sound
What I Got
Under My VooDoo
Date Rape

Here’s photos of Bud Gaugh of Sublime, showing some love to The Pier before the the show, taken by David Norris!
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