Never Ending Summer Tour: Rain Dancing with 311 and The Offspring
Never Ending Summer Tour:
No one can accuse rock band 311 of spending all their time in the studio as 2018 marks the 16th consecutive year they’ve hit the road on tour. This year’s Never-Ending Summer Tour sees them reunited with The Offspring, who previously joined them in 2010.
Along with opener Gym Class Heroes, what did these veteran groups bring to Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion last night?
While perhaps not as well known as the headliners, Gym Class Heroes aren’t newcomers.
The group formed in 1997 in Geneva, NY and have five studio albums to their credit.
Describing them as rap-rock would be simplistic as there are elements of funk, reggae, R&B thrown in as well.
Unfortunately a severe thunderstorm passed through just after doors opened, sending most of the queue scrambling for their cars, and slightly delaying the start of the show.
This found Gym Class Heroes playing a shortened set to mostly empty seats. Still, they handled it like pros, belting out some catchy tunes like “Billionaire”.
This is a group that I think sounds much better live than they do on recording. The songs seem to have a little more energy to them.
The Offspring are most associated with the punk rock resurgence of the early 90s. Their 1994 album, Smash, brought them to national prominence and they’ve mellowed little since.
PNC Pavilion was finally filling up and The Offspring weren’t dampened by the weather as Guitarist “Noodles” Wasserman announced “A little rain ain’t stopping us.”
They played plenty of crowd favorites, even pausing “Bad Habit” to encourage the audience to sing along. A particularly raucous number was their cover of AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie”.
But perhaps, contrary to my earlier statement, they may have mellowed slightly as singer Dexter Holland took to the piano for a stripped down version of “Gone Away”, which was a nice change of pace. That was but a brief respite and they ramped it back up before finishing their hour long set with “Self Esteem”.
With that kind of longevity, there is plenty of material for them to choose from and the setlist played out like a greatest hits collection. “Do You Right” from 1993’s Music is a great example of the reggae influence in their sound, mellow, almost laid-back vibe, but still rocking.
On the newer side, “Too Late” from last year’s Mosaic proves that they can pull off a rager as the live variant seemed amped up considerably from the album version.
A nice light and video show complimented the excellent audio mix and the group’s cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong” is always a treat.
One of best moments was drummer Chad Sexton’s expanded drum solo during “Applied Science” before being joined by his bandmates on additional percussion. “Down” was the closer and found me singing along, in a much improved state of mind.
Partly because of the experience, partly because I had finally dried out, and maybe because of the wafting clouds of a certain mood altering substance that always seems to accompany a 311 performance.
I prefer a lineup that’s sonically diverse. Gym Class Heroes and 311 obviously share some of the same influences, most notably hip-hop and reggae, but take those influences in different directions. Likewise The Offspring’s brand of rock is notably different but still has some common ground with their stage-mates. I think this tour has a little something for everyone and I heartily recommend checking it if you have the opportunity.
Catch this tour:
Tomorrow 7 PMBill Raymond is going
Sun 7 PM3,925 guests
Tue 7 PMKim Connell is going
|Sterling Heights, MI||
Wed 7 PM CDT3,542 guests
Tue 7 PM2,024 guests
Wed 7 PM2,953 guests
Fri 7 PM2,297 guests
Sat 7 PM1,917 guests
Sun 7 PM5,684 guests
Wed 7 PM1,701 guests
Mon 1 PM CDT7,199 guests
|Maryland Heights, MO||
Tue 7 PM5,016 guests
|Huber Heights, OH||
Thu 7 PM CDT5,935 guests