Date: Friday July 20th, 2012
Line up: 311, Slightly Stoopid, The Aggrolites
Location: 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheater. Tampa Bay, Florida
Set Times: The Aggrolites – 6:30pm, Slightly Stoopid – 7:20pm, 311 – 8:50pm
This week, the annual Summer Unity Tour brought its positive vibes to Florida. For this year’s installment, 311, Slightly Stoopid, and The Aggrolites packed them in, for three stellar performances across the state. Friday night’s Florida finale, at Tampa’s 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheater, was one to remember! More like a festival than a concert, thousands of fans converged on the massive outdoor arena, to hear their favorite bands! The Pier was fortunate enough to get a double dose of the Unity Tour, and experience what had to be one of the best shows on tour thus far!
While the sun set on the bay, the sounds of The Aggrolites began to echo from the stage, drawing in thousands of eager fans from the immense tailgate-BBQ party out on fairgrounds. To warm up the crowd, The Aggrolites played a tight thirty minute set of nonstop dirty reggae music. A perfect opener for Unity Tour, the Aggro Crew, left the stage with cheers from the fans! Following a short break down, label mate, Slightly Stoopid was ready to go…
Easing into the set with a funky instrumental jam, and continuing strong into the set, Slightly Stoopid played their infamous fusion of music for just over an hour. Always screaming for older songs like “Closer to the Sun,” with a much anticipated new album only a few weeks away, fans were also craving the new tunes! With 21 tracks on the upcoming album Top Of The World, every night on tour fans can preview about four or so various new tracks! Songs off Top Of The World like “Ska Diddy,” “Pon Da Horizon,” “Way You Move,” and “We Don’t Wanna Go,” all were on the set list.
Slightly Stoopid appeared well rehearsed and polished, with a crisp, clear, well produced, well mixed sound. Every time Slightly Stoopid comes around, their musical development is apparent. This constant growth can be heard in the evolving arrangements of older songs, and in the depth of the new tunes. By combining that growth with special guests like Half Pint and Karl Denson, Slightly Stoopid always makes it well worth it for the fans to come out and party.
The Pier loves talking with the fans! As I meandered around the lawn, I ran into Claudia. Living in nearby, St. Pete, FL she came across the bay and as she put it “To see Slightly Stoopid!” She continued “…I mean I like 311 too…”Love Song” is my wedding song!… but I came to see Slightly Stoopid, I can’t wait for Stoopid to start!” Every band on the bill had an obvious fan base present. Everyone has their favorite, but with this line up, how can you not enjoy every second of the show?
Right at nine, to the roar of over 12,000 excitable ones, 311 took center stage! Opening with “Beautiful Disaster” the previous night, as usual, 311 completely flipped the set list up. Starting with a slower tune, they opened with, “Stealing Happy Hours,” and then cranked it right up with “Do You Right,” before going right into “Jackpot.” It was another great & unique opening sequence!
After a few more songs 311 paused and Nick Hexum announced that “the next song is dedicated to the victims of the senseless tragedy in Aurora, CO.” They then played the b-side bonus track “Tribute.” With the lyric, “…the real man is not the one hiding behind the gunshot, boom!” This song struck a deep chord in the midst of the awful events of that morning.
On a brighter note, the set included several highlights! Besides reaching deep into the 311 catalog, with songs like their cover of Bad Brains’ “Leaving Babylon”, P-nut Murdered the bass during his solo, and they performed the “Applied Science” drum line. Before “Applied Science” Nick acknowledged the crowd saying “A positive celebration, bringing all these people together for music!”.
I believe, because of the great crowd, Nick treated the fans to a very special song. After the beautiful lights of “Amber” faded, the band left the stage. Nick quickly came back out with his acoustic guitar. He played a solo acoustic version of “My Heart Sings,” a set list debut! 311 played 22 great songs in just under two hours. It was a very special set, and I can’t wait to see how they top it!
After the show The Pier wanted to get the fans thoughts on the show. Jacob, a local 311 fan told us, “Awesome show..really awesome show!… I’ve loved 311 forever… They used to be a little heavier, more slam dance, but I really like what they are doing now, it’s more mellow, but they play the older stuff, and as long as they always play ‘Disaster!”
Hanging around the pit, we ran into Aaron, a dedicated 311 fan who drove across the state from Melbourne, and was rewarded with an original set list. As he held up the tape covered paper for a picture, he told us, “It was a great show, I came down, and I got the list… so it was a cool night!”
With 40 plus dates covering every major market, don’t miss the biggest party of the summer, the 2012 Unity Tour!
311 Set List:
1.) Stealing Happy Hours
2.) Do You Right
4.) Come Original
5.) Sunset In July
6.) Rub A Dub
9.) All Mixed Up
10.) Applied Science
11.) Frolic Room
12.) Wild Nights
13). Leaving Babylon
16.) Time Bomb
18.) My Heart Sings**
19). Beautiful Disaster¬
21.) Don’t Stay Home
*Song dedicated “to the victims of the senseless tragedy in Aurora, CO.”
**A set list debut ft. Nick solo acoustic***On stage set list, but not played
Article By: Aaron Solomon
Photo By: Peter Monti
Check out “Top Of The World,”the first single off Slightly Stoopid’s upcoming album!
Check out Slightly Stoopid’s summer Unity Tour trailer!
The fan created, fan favored music video for the single “Count Me In” 311 most recent release Universal Pulse