If you’ve read my previous post then you know I’ve been a fan of 311 since 1996 – in other words, a long time! I’ve been an avid lover of the band for 16 years and every other year they throw a big party to celebrate 311 day (March 11th for you non-311 addicts). Of all the ones that were held, I somehow could never seem to line my schedule & finances up so that I could attend one. So I vowed after missing the one in 2010 that there was no way in hell I was letting another one pass without being there.
So finally in March of 2012, the stars aligned and I found myself on the strip in Las Vegas, ready for my first 311 day experience. The band had decided to do something different at this years 311 day event. Instead of playing one really long set on March 11th, they would split up the show between two nights. So on March 10th, we watched 2 sets and rang in 311 day with the band, then on March 11 we finished the holiday off with them watching another 2 sets. Two nights of 311 Day – I was ecstatic.
One of the greatest aspects of this pilgrimage to Las Vegas was that I was going to be seeing tons of the friends I’ve made over the years of being a 311 fan. Not only was I there to celebrate the holiday with 311, I was also there surrounded by tons of other 311 fanatics. I could feel the electric charge of the unity the fans brought with them (or it may have been from the bright neon lights but whatever).
Everyone had told me about their 311 day experiences prior to my own. I was told of how amazing the event was, how great it was to be surrounded by a ton of 311 fans, and how it was fun walking up and down the streets spotting people in 311 gear. I’d seen footage from 311 day shows and always known that the day I made it to my first would be magical. Well…IT WAS!! Thanks to a very, very awesome person, I was able to get right up on the rail for both nights. I was at 311 day…and I was in the front row. Somebody pinch me!!
The shows were amazing, as I expected. Tons of songs I hadn’t heard in quite sometime and songs I had never heard live! They opened with Omaha Stylee the first night and it started the night off right. 311 debuted Time is Precious, a B-side from Evolver. Nick came out and sang Waiting In Vain, a Bob Marley cover, by himself. The energy of the crowd during that moment was amazing. There was the Beat Squad, who played drums with the band for Freak Out and Jackpot, which ended the show. Could anything top this night?
Oh wait right, night 2 could!! Firewater debut!! Too Much Too Fast debut! Jupiter! Speak Easy with the Unity Percussion Ensemble! 8:16 AM! Gap dedicated to all the fans with 311 tattoos! These are just some of my favorite moments (and excuse the over use of exclamation points…I was just so damn excited). Did I mention I was on the rail again? Surreal.
The rest of the trip was just the icing on the cake. The fan party was a blast (only marred by the fact that my hubby lost his license and we had to pay $75 to have his passport overnighted to us so we could fly home 2 days later). We got to meet up with the 311 Familia and take a huge group photo. I saw so many people that I’d partied with previously and met so many new people…it was just truly a moving experience. I added to my growing group of 311 family a lot on this trip! At one point, two girls were walking towards my husband and I and he said “hey they have 311 shirts on”, and I looked up and was like “Hey!! Whats going on ladies!” I knew them. My husband just shook his head and said, “Of course you know them” and laughed. It was great.