Review: 311, Sublime With Rome serve up good vibes at the 311 Pow Wow Festival in Live Oak
We’ll be the first to admit: The mere thought of an August camping festival in North Florida causes us great discomfort.
Yet hybrid-rock act 311 and the like-minded bands that played Friday in Live Oak managed to overcome heat and bug barriers to deliver the cool-it-down, peace-promoting affair that the inaugural Pow Wow Festival had promised.
In the past, we’ve referred to the Los Angeles-by-way-of-Omaha band as a “musical turducken” in that it offers reggae, rap and funk wrapped in a hard rock/metal shell. 311 put all of that on the table and then some, offering up B-sides, setlist rarities and extended jam sessions — the kind of stuff they wouldn’t normally bring to their annual Tampa Bay tour stop.
But with the heat index hovering around 100 during the day, and gnats lurking near the banks of the tea-colored Suwannee River, Pow Wow made those annual Amphitheatre gigs, the 311 Days and the cruising seem easy.
But when you’re a diehard fan, you’re a diehard. And that’s the kind who showed up here.
Fittingly, 311 gave them just the specialties they deserved.
Frontman and vocalist Nick Hexum appropriately dedicated Don’t Stay Home to all the “folks who were too chicken to come out tonight.” (See heat, bugs and turducken notes above.)
The band tackled rarely-played tracks like Don’t Let Me Down and 1,2,3, offered up demo numbers Summer of Love and Gap, and delivered extended soloing (beyond the traditional Applied Science full-band drum line), including a rare bass solo by Aaron Wills, aka P-Nut, on Uncalm.
The crowd (an extraordinarily agreeable bunch) rose their hands in unison on Freeze Time and their lighters flickered for Beyond the Gray Sky, painting Pow Wow as a picturesque, 500-acre place for peace and unity. (Perhaps the stark opposite of the scene at Woodstock ’99).
Earlier that evening, Sublime with Rome played a 90-minute set with new tracks and old. Singer Rome Ramirez was only 10 years old when he fell in love with Bradley Nowell and the boys from Long Beach, Calif. That being said, filling Nowell’s shoes can’t be easy. ut the 23-year-old came out firing on all cylinders with new single Panic.
Beach balls bounced about on Wrong Way and the crowd gleefully sang the chorus on What I Got, a staple anthem of any late '90s or early '00s oceanside party.
— Carole Liparoto, tbt*