Concert Review: 311 Rocked at Red Rocks 2023

by Andrew Calvio

July 1, 2023

This show started with a great lineup with openers J Boog, MATISYAHU, and Arrested Development, but 311 tore up the stage at Red Rocks for the 18th time on the first sunset in July in an event that was live streamed through Taking the stage after a slight weather delay, the energy poured straight out of the 5 bandmates. As a quirky gesture, bassist Aaron “P-Nut” Wills sported a yellow raincoat with the hood pulled tight, only shedding it after the first song “Do You Right” ended. The iconic amphitheater in Colorado was packed with diehards who took all the right cues from the band and sang along when prompted. The vocal harmonies between Nick Hexum and Doug “SA” Martinez have always held my interest. A uniquely distinct combo that fuses Martinez’ higher pitched whine rap vocals over Hexum’s rock reggae baritone. As the all too familiar first notes of “All Mixed Up” started, the crowd was already on their feet dancing ,waiting to be led through an arm-waving dance along with Hexum during the chorus, while Martinez practiced the robot on another part of the stage. Strange, but fun. 

311 rolled through the almost 2-hour set filled with hits including “Beautiful Disaster”, “Come Original” and of course, “Amber”. The musicianship really shone through as guitarist Tim Mahoney made his guitar sing just as well as it had when they were in the studio. Not to be outdone, P-Nut was given his own spot on the setlist to showcase his talents. As the rest of the band stepped away for a break, he stayed in the spotlight to hammer down some funky slap bass which then cycled into a Star Wars themed medley that concluded with the Imperial Death March. Who doesn’t like being part of the Darkside? I’m a nerd.

Another favorite, “Don’t Stay Home” was a crowd pleaser that really showcased the fan’s enthusiasm as they shouted along with the chorus prompting Hexum to turn the mic where it was only the audience singing at the end. A couple songs later it was drummer Chad Sexton’s turn to shine. All eyes were on him as he smashed the skins showing that after all this time he still has the chops that have driven this band for 33 years. As an added bonus, drum racks were wheeled out to the stage where the other four members played along with Sexton, pausing only to do a stick toss across stage criss-crossing each other. It was a neat little united drum feature. 

As “Amber “began, it took me back to the last time I saw 311 in Austin 2019. A night that was corrupted by Gentleman Jack but provided many laughs and memories that will not go away! Always a great song, tonight was no exception as the band sounded tight and absolutely nailed the vocals. The first song of the encore was “Beyond The Gray Sky”, a great tribute that Hexum wrote for a lost friend. The amphitheater lit up with the lights of the audience phones making it a touching moment. The closer for the night was dedicated to the old school 311 fans. As the band broke into “Down”, the crowd was jumping and doing their best karaoke version they could muster after a brilliant set filled with bangers. Overall a great night with 311 and Veeps filled with nostalgia and memories of my much younger self.

311 mixes rock, rap, reggae & funk into their own unique, hybrid sound – and 33 years later, the band is still regarded as one of the most entertaining & dynamic live bands in the U.S.  The band is one of the longest running original lineups in rock when it comes to touring, racking up over 2,000 shows in over 27 countries-up there with icons U2 and Radiohead. They still put on an amazing show, not to be missed. You can catch their tour starting September, 2023. Check out all our concert photos and reviews on Austin 101 Magazine.


Do You Right

Freeze Time

All Mixed Up

Sunset In July

What The ?!

Beautiful Disaster



Come Original

Bass Solo


Don’t Stay Home




Applied Science

Face In The Wind


One And The Same

Omaha Stylee

Creatures (For A While)


Beyond The Gray Sky


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