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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

311 w/ State Radio @ Hammerstein Ballroom 11/28/09

This was a whole different experience right here. Hello once again, and better late than never we're back, with the twenty first edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series and this one brings us back to the same place we were on Tuesday, Hammerstein Ballroom(or, again, as the sign would indicate all over the building-the Manhattan Center). Tonight, 311 plays for their second night in a row in NYC. They have a new album out “Uplifter”- fans should check it out it's good stuff. The opener is State Radio-Pam and I head in after getting drunk around the corner at a real deal Irish Pub(it said Irish Pub on the sign).

Walk in there feeling great made sure not to give them my lighter at the door this time. The crowd for this show at Hammerstein compared to the Pixies on Tuesday were two totally different animals. Both were equally dedicated, but tonight was more, searching for a word to use here: more one entity where as the Pixies fans were a bunch of separate individuals together-the 311 fans were more together, more in sync with each other. And there was a lot more pot in the building tonight. We hit the merch table as I pick myself up a tee shirt says 311 on the front and November 28th 2009 on the back with an “NY” and it's Jets green so it looks kinda like team memorabilia- they had Giants blue ones as well. It was only 25 bucks and they had a XXL, so it fit right over my Pixies hoodie. Then we went and bought seven dollar beers and now that I remember, I owe Pam a beer I never paid her for.

State radio was pretty cool. I had no idea who there were before tonight but they had some good vibes flowing. They were sort of like 311, a little conventional hard rock orientated yet still had that little dash of reggae/ska bop to it. It was cool, no weird instruments that I need to go look up on the internet, no stupid things like “This is a song about hope” or anything like that. The best compliment I've come to be able to dish out to a band is that they didn't annoy me in any way-and that's what this band did. They rocked because they didn't annoy me. I'm sure they have a myspace, probably .

The they took apart the stage and started rolling out the 311 gear, as they took the sheet off the drum kit to a huge roar from the crowd. Their lead guitarist uses a shitload of effects pedal because I saw them bring out like a two level rack of toys. I need to invest in some effects pedals. Anyway, 311 hits the stage after 9PM and at this point it's getting real cramped up there-we're like, pretty far up there and it's about to get rowdy; and it did. They kicked off the set with “Beautiful Disaster” and the place was jumping. I'm telling you these people are crazy-song by song it just got worse, and by worse I mean better. It was frigging rocking in there! And everyone was dancing and shit and it was dark so I was actually getting behind girls like, groovin' because they didn't know I wasn't there boyfriend then they went and found him. I did this all night, even with that hot chick in the white top that I told Pam I thought was hot. Awesome. A couple songs later(wasn't taking down the set list because I was jumping up and down like a maniac) when they got into “Come Original” and “All Mixed up” is when I began to get “all bruised up”-there were different sorts of moshes going. You had the hardcore punk circle of death is what I call it, thats what when down at the Germs show I saw. There's a circle of people and there are usually 3 to 4 people being pushing one direction to the other slamming into everyone surrounding, me and Pam were  getting knocked aside from time to time. Then there was also the 'push everyone forward spring' as I call it-where like 5 dudes line up and push everyone in front of them so everyone leans about 5 feet forward and then flings back at the rest of us spectators-but I saw this happen a few times and it was like right in front of us. The ruckus subdued after they ran off and had the drum solo followed by the whole band beatin the shit outta snare drums simultaneously-it was crazy. Then Peanut with the 10 minute bass solo, he's a frigging beast with it-I think he plays a 5 string bass(if not a 6 string). Then they all came back out and played something for “all the old school 311 fans” and jumped into “Down”, literally. I took flight lunging forward on to a bunch of other people(Pam said it best: “I don't think my feet were on the ground at all in there”) and then when I got flung back I was in the middle of one of those circles of death and I got knock around pretty good before landing back in my spot to just jump up and down in unison with everybody in the building. Weed is being smoked everywhere, and cigarettes too people were just going all out. And funny at the beginning of one of the songs they played after that dude was like “Alright everyone put your lighters up for this one” and there were dozens of flames lit as event staff looks on, not being able to do anything about it because we smartened up and didn't tell them we had lighters at the door. Take that! One disappointment I had was that they didn't play “Who's got the herb” or “Amber” (or their cover of “Love song” now that I think about it) but they have an album to promote so you gotta play the new stuff and you can't play everything-that's why I'll see them again next time they hit town. Ended the set with a song called “Jackpot”, of which crowd participation was asked for-I don't remember what we had to do but we sang along something. It was just so nuts in there all night, afterwards was just a complete dead feeling. Felt like I got beat up, and it was a good thing!

Amazing, can't wait to see them again. Well, next time I thought I'd be posting was after I saw Weezer on December 10th @ the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ. Pam also planned on riding along for this ride as well. As of December 5th the rest of the december leg of the tour was cancelled : Rivers Cuomo's tour bus went off an icy road and he cracked three ribs. I got a refund, but that doesn't make it not suck-  

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