311 Red Rocks 2012

2012 was a big year for me in regards to my 311 addiction. I finally, after loving the band for 16 years, made it to my first 311 day. One would think that pilgrimage alone would be enough, but no. I had always wanted to go see 311 at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO, a little town just outside of Denver. I heard the venue was full of natural beauty that made the acoustics of live performances mind blowing. And 311 loved playing there. Seeing them there wasn’t just something I thought would be fun. It was an absolute necessity that I attend a 311 show there.

Being the Aries that I am, I don’t have patience and when I want something, I figure out a way to get it. Thankfully I met an awesome friend named Tony on the first 311 cruise. He just so happens to live in Denver and graciously offered his place up for my husband and I to stay when we came out for the show. Now I have mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again…311 fans are the best. Tony has become one of my husband and I’s¬†favorite people to party with and we always have a fun time with him and laughs are always guaranteed when he is around. If you read this Tony, just know we think you are awesome! “You don’t even know!”

Tony!

So thanks to Tony (and his roommate Desiree), we had a place to crash so we could travel out to Denver and go see 311 at Red Rocks! To say that this show was amazing is an understatement. We managed to get seats just a few rows back from the stage. As I watched the opening bands including Slightly Stoopid my energy level just became off the charts. I would look around at the beauty of the venue and all the excitables and just lose my breath at the sheer awesomeness of it all.

The band did something at this show that they had never done before – printed the entire shows setlist on the special Red Rocks t-shirt that they were selling that night. A lot of people refused to look at the shirt because they wanted to be surprised. What do you think I did? I did mention I’m an Aries right?? So yeah I knew the whole show before it happened and guess what? It was still just as great. Actually I pretty much forgot which songs were coming in what order after I looked at them so it really was a surprise at times! They opened with Leaving Babylon, which was so different because it is such a mellow song. They then pumped up the energy level with Full Ride and Do You Right, which Tony and I had a blast jumping up and down to of course.

I was told that I needed to experience the show from the back just to hear how great it sounded so during a few songs I took off and went alone up to the very top. All I can say is…WOW. I like being up front because I wear contacts and hate not being able to see when I’m far away. Having said that, being way up back at Red Rocks is something everyone should see, even if its just for a few minutes. I stood there, listening to my favorite band, watching the sea of fans rock out, with the city lights of Denver sparkling in the distance. And the sound! It was like they were right next to me. Perfect acoustics and such an amazing, energizing, positive moment. It was really moving!

View from the top!

As if the concert experience wasn’t enough, we waited after the show and Nick came out to sign a few autographs and say hello! We waited quite awhile, and they kept telling us no one was coming out…but I’m glad we didn’t listen or I would have missed this experience!

 

Me & Nick!

To say that I’m happy with my decision to make the trip out to Red Rocks is an understatement. I have always seen all of these fans traveling all over the country to see the band and now I know the appeal of it. Not only do you get to see your favorite band in many different venues, you get to meet new people and make connections you really never knew you could make. I have met so many amazing people over the years thanks to this band. This was just one more beautiful place that I got to share my experience with them! So I know all of this costs money, and I’ve said it before if you are on limited funds I know its hard, but try to make the journey to Red Rocks at some point in your life. Hopefully its to see 311, but even if it isn’t, the experience and beauty of this venue is worth it. As always, stay positive and love your life! Until next time.

311 Cruise 2011

It has been almost two years since I went on my first cruise – the first ever 311 cruise. Now I had always said that I would NEVER take a cruise. I wasn’t very keen on the idea of getting on a boat and being on the ocean in the middle of nowhere (cue Titanic music). Then 311 announced that they would be cruising to Turks and Caicos in the first EVER 311 Caribbean Cruise, setting sail on 3-3-11. Like the old saying goes, never say never. Yes, the girl who swore she would never step foot on a giant ship to sail somewhere booked the cruise as soon as she could. This was just too great an opportunity to pass up and the way I looked at it, if I was going down then what better place to be than with the band I love?

Awesome!!

Flash forward to departure day – 3-3-11. It was like a dream come true. As I checked in to board the boat the band arrived and were ushered through the sea (no pun intended) of people waiting to board the Carnival Destiny. I couldn’t believe it…I was getting on a boat with these guys! Could it get any cooler? Oh it could.

Once on board we checked out our room and hit the Lido deck to see the stage set up. After exploring the boat a little bit we waited for the drill to start so we could secure a spot to watch the first 311 show. After a bunch of people trying to coral a bunch of excitables into organized drill lines we were dismissed and quickly ran to prepare for the first 311 show at sea! As the ship left the Port of Miami, 311 took the stage. Words really can’t describe the energy that I felt during that time. The air was warm, the fans were energized and the band has never sounded better. I attribute that to the melodic tones bouncing off the waves. They played Jupiter, which I had never heard live and about cried when they did. They played my all time favorite 8:16AM. But the best part was when they broke into Summer of Love. My husband had graciously offered to go get me and the people we were with pizzas because we realized we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and were all starving. He had been gone awhile and that’s when Summer of Love began to play. I freaked because I knew how much he loved that song and didn’t want him to miss it. It was as if the Gods had planned it this way – a group of people parted and through them comes my husband, carrying two pizzas and smiling as he rocked out to the song. He made it back to hear most of the song with us, while we munched on some delicious pizza. Happiness was the emotion felt by all.

Lido Deck Show 3-3-11

The boat was a floating orb of positivity. We met up with people from Boston and people we had met prior to cruising. We made new friends. We drank. My husband got sea sick. We drank some more. We sunned. We partied. We took a ridiculous amount of photos.

Loving life on board!

We met the band! Although briefly and quick, that minute was one of the most surreal and awesome moments of my life. I thought I could keep my cool and act laid back but the minute the Sixthman crew sent me behind the curtain where the guys were waiting my shaking took over and I somehow managed to smile and spit out the words “Hey guys, thanks for coming into my life 17 years ago.” ¬†They all smiled and said aww that’s sweet. I did my best pose and smiled, praying to God that neither my husband or myself blinked or made a stupid face. I then proceeded to hug Nick, even though they said not to and my hubby shook their hands. Needless to say I was on cloud nine the rest of the day. Hell I’m still on cloud 9 from it! (And the picture came out great!!!)

 

With 311 on the cruise!!

 

The second show I saw was indoors at the theatre and the sea was so angry that the whole ship was rocking back and forth like you wouldn’t believe. It was so bad at one point that my whole row fell over into each other. Despite that the band somehow seemed unfazed and continued to rock. I heard Jupiter for the second time in 3 days and thought I had died and gone to heaven. I heard Pnut play Coda for the first time. The set list was amazing but unfortunately I had to experience it without my love due to his sea sickness. He did manage to hear a few songs before leaving. Lesson learned from this is to get the sea patch from your doctor before you board and wear it!!! Trust me…it’ll keep you from wishing you had never stepped on that rocky boat.

Despite his bout with sea sickness we did manage to have an awesome time and leave with some great memories and new friends. There is so much more I could write about this cruise. The experience of being on that first one is something no one can ever take from me and I am so glad I did it. For those who haven’t gone yet, do whatever you can to get on one at some point. Trust me it is worth every penny. I got a second job just to pay for the first cruise!

The ship from the shore of Turks & Caicos!

Tomorrow marks exactly six weeks until we fly to Miami for the third 311 cruise (our second one since we missed 2012 and opted for 311 Day instead). As I write this blog entry my skin has started to tingle and my brain is racing in anticipation of the new adventure. New boat, new friends to be with, and three shows to look forward to. Not to mention some other great bands I’m excited to see. I wish I could rent a boat big enough to take everyone who wants and deserves to go. Just know if you aren’t going you will get there one day. Up until 2011 I never thought I would get to experience a special 311 event. Dreams do come true! This time once I depart the ship from the 5 day party, I plan to write down all my memories as soon as possible, instead of procrastinating and taking two years! Stay positive and love your life.

 

The loving couple as the hit the beach!
Bon Voyage!