Welcome back awesome people of 311 nation! Another week, another fan spotlight! This week let’s meet a personal friend of mine, Amanda Cusanelli!
Like many in the 311 fan nation, hearing the song “Down” on the radio is how Amanda first heard of 311. She instantly loved it. “They had a sound I wasn’t familiar with and it drew me to them. I loved rap but this was different…and I liked it more.”
While she doesn’t keep count of the exact number of shows seen, she knows it’s somewhere in the 40 range. First show for her was in 2006 at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia. Favorite event so far though? The second cruise, followed by Pow Wow. “Everything about the second cruise was amazing. Great artists, great friends; good times all around. I also really enjoyed PowWow. The line up was perfection even if the sweat and dirt was less than desirable. I did not partake in camping… I had my own princess hotel. This was also the first event where I began to meet people and form lasting 311 relationships.”
Song that means the most? It’s hard to choose. But the first two that came to mind for Amanda were “Visit” and “Unity.” Music is still her favorite album. Favorite lyric? “Welcome to this groove’ describes who I am and the life I lead. I’m always singing and dancing wherever I go.”
Maryland is where Amanda was raised, which gave her lots of opportunities to hear live music as she grew up, being so close to both Baltimore and D.C. She also traveled to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York quite often for it as well. Music was an important part of her life from an early age. “My earliest memories of music were always with my father. He had a state of the art stereo and was always listening to it. He would let us kids each pick a CD and he’d shuffle them in his CD changer. He would quiz me on artists, song names and albums on trips in the car. He also took me to every concert I wanted until I was able to drive myself. This is where my love of music comes from.” In 2014 Amanda moved to Saint Louis, Missouri, where she continues to see as many shows as possible.
Amanda has a very cool story to tell, and I’ll let her tell it in her own words. “In 2011 I met a teenage boy who had recently survived a horrific life changing accident while trying to fix up his house. I couldn’t believe the maturity and positivity he exuded after all that had happened. After learning more about this amazing spirit I realized he lived in a very dire situation with several members of his family. I asked for the assistance of a local production company and together we pitched his story to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We succeeded and were able to gift the family with a brand new home. The show even painted all the houses in the neighborhood and installed a community garden. Still the proudest moment of my media career.”
Unique attribute? “I can sing/recite any song after hearing it a couple of times but I cannot remember song names if my life depended on it.” Guilty pleasure for Amanda – Boy bands…all of them. “They are a part of me; deal with it.” Second favorite band for Amanda is Candlebox. Other than that she loves KoRn, Billy Talent and Three Legged Fox. “I have a very eclectic taste in music and it’s extremely difficult to pick favorites. I’ve been to shows as obvious as 311 and as unexpected as Engelbert Humperdinck. I will also go to any live performance. That includes theatre.”
Amanda’s message to 311 – “Thank you for taking me on this wild ride as we visit the world.”
Her message to all the other 311 fans:
“To all my friends: I’m glad you know me. To all my future friends: You’re welcome.”
That everyone is Amanda’s story! I’m proud to call her my friend, she is a ton of fun and full of positive vibes. Keep an eye out for her at shows…look for the tattoo on her wrist and you’ll find her! Until we meet again.
Much love – The Runt