Few bands personify the summer touring season as well as 311 does and their self awareness of this was evident as they hit the road with The Offspring this year for the ‘Never Ending Summer Tour.’ Unlike previous summer tours that 311 has headlined this one was a few decades in the making as these two colossal groups from the late 90’s came together for one a once in a lifetime experience that even saw the band’s cover each other songs as studio releases to hype up the outing.
Contrary to the trend in the industry 311 is band that have truly gotten better with age and as they entered 2018 there was no doubt that they would continue to exceed expectations as touring band. The culture of a 311 concert is very non-typical of other bands with in the genre and music in general as many fans have been to well over 20 or 30 shows at this point – yes there were some first times but the retention rate that 311 holds for their fans is astonishing. This unique atmosphere allows the band to expand creatively both on and off the stage as their merch at each show contained a wide array of incredible one-of-a-kind products which included a unique dated poster for the Great Allentown Fair show that looked like a spoof of Teenage Ninja Turtles.
On stage 311 demonstrated their staying power was Nick Hexum sounded as good, if not better, than ever on his portions of the setlist and Doug Martinez kept up along with him through out the night. The band’s constant touring and large recurring attendance with their fan base allowed them to truly open up the setlist in the likes of which most band’s would never risk as massive hits like “All Mixed Up” made in appearance as early as the second song of the show. A bold move that paid off greatly as new and old fans alike were forced to react in real time with the ever changing and diverse setlist that 311 delivered them.
It is hard to imagine a summer concert season without 311 and as the band continues to grow their already incredible touring legacy there is no doubt that we can continue to expect to see them headlining amphitheaters for many summer’s to come. The Never Ending Summer Tour will wrap up in a few weeks but 311 will be back as they have proved time and time again – until then fans will have the memories of this concert whether it was their 50th or 1st to look back on.