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311 AND THE UNITY TOUR IN BOCA RATON
August 25, 2017
South Florida seems to be a regular stop for 311. Although, I personally only caught the band once before. It was a few years back and I was disappointed by the sound at the venue and ended up leaving early.
I was excited to see the band after the release of their new album, "Mosaic" which has increased my respect for the band musically by 10 fold. Excluding "Til the City's on Fire" this song sounds like it was written by Flo-Rida and is too much like a club song. I honestly tried to like this song and gave it a few chances, but now I just find myself skipping over it.
The day of the show arrived and the skies in south Florida were gray and gloomy from a storm that was traveling across the state. This made the temperature much cooler the day of the show, but I was praying the weather held out.
When I arrived at Sunset Cove in Boca, I knew it was a smaller venue, so I decided to leave my Camera bag in the car and filled my cargo shorts with a lens and anything else I would need or so I thought.
6:30 Passafire hit the stage to a smaller crowd who gave much support to the Savannah GA Rock/Reggae group. This was my first time seeing or hearing Passafire and I must say I was impressed. I thought they were going to be like every other "College Rock/Reggae" group I have heard in the past, but this was not the case. Something set them apart from the others. Maybe their singers voice, their Ska like sound, or the funk breaks they composed in certain songs? Either way I really enjoyed their set. Plus, any band who's member picks up a keyboard and plays it like a Keytar gets my respect.
7:20 New Politics hits the stage and took over the small West Boca Amphitheater with their Rock/Pop music and energetic stage presence. From their catchy songs to the singer breakdancing on stage, this band won me over. I was not expecting this kind of energy. I just wish I was able to shoot their whole set.
8:00 As I was skimming through my photos, I noticed the once full battery in my camera had dwindled down to nothing. I reached in my pocket and panic set in. I left my other 3 batteries in my truck! Panic stricken I went to the security gate and asked to leave and come back, but quickly got turned down. At this point, I had no clue what to do. I though it was hoping it was just a bad connection and tried everything I could to get it working. I managed to get a few shots off, so I turned it off and prayed it would at least get me through the first 3 songs of 311. 15 minutes before 311's set, my self along with the other photographers made our way to the pit area. I tried to take a baseline shot of the stage and my camera was completely dead. I turned to a fellow photographer and asked if he had a extra, which he was happy to lend me. He asked " which model I was shooting with and I replied the D810. He said, " Let me see the battery, shit Bret this is not going to work." At that point there was nothing I could do except go back to security, who at this time was more obliged to help me. I had 7 minutes before 311 started their set. It has been years since I ran, but much to my surprise, I was able to make it back just as the band was taking the stage.
8:35 - I heard the first roar of the crowd as I was going back through the security gate. As I made my way back into the pit, the dark stage was turned red and 311 began playing, " Perfect Mistake" the 5 song on their new album. The band played 8 more songs including some of their radio hits like " Come Original and All Mixed up", before taking a break for during the bass solo. The highlight of the night for me was when they played " Applied Science, and Omaha Stylee". This show made up for the last time I saw 311. Their sound was tight and it was amazing to see them in a much smaller venue.
Unity Tour 2017 was one of my favorite concerts to shoot thus far. I especially loved the location of this show. It was a little more intimate and it felt more like the band and the crowd were one. 311 is a band you can ask me to go see in 20 years from now and I will always say. Yes! Their shows are always a good time!
1. PERFECT MISTAKE 2. COME ORIGINAL 3. DO YOU RIGHT 4. TOO MUCH TO THINK 5. ALL MIXED UP 6. ONE AND THE SAME 7. DON’T STAY HOME 8. HEY YO 9. SICK TIGHT BASS SOLO 10. WILDFIRE 11. BEAUTIFUL DISASTER 12. FACE IN THE WIND 13. LARGE IN THE MARGIN 14. APPLIED SCIENCE 15. 'TIL THE CITY'S ON FIRE 16. AMBER 17. TOO LATE 18. FEELS SO GOOD 19. DOWN 20. OMAHA STYLEE 21. ON A ROLL 22. CREATURES (FOR A WHILE)