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June 19, 2024

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"Transistor" Tour

By: Kristi Crane

The lights go off and flowers appear on the white curtain covering the stage. The music starts and the fans scream.

This is the moment Beasley Coliseum's occupants have been waiting for. We had already seen Incubus and Sugar Ray play and now 311 is taking the stage for one of the most awesome concerts Pullman has ever seen.

Nick Hexum's voice is heard and as the curtain drops the lights go wild and the band goes full into "Hive." This song is one of the four songs 311 performs off their third, self-titled album -- the album that brought them to MTV, big cities and big audiences.

Doug (SA) Martinez, Chad Sexton, Aaron (P-Nut) Wills, Tim Mahoney and Hexum continue to perform up to 17 other songs, some of which were taken from their 1993 album, "Music," with six from their newest album, "Transistor."

This Omaha-based band has been almost continually on MTV promoting "Transistor." The title cut was the first to be released from this highly anticipated album and the fans ate it up like candy.

"Prisoner", a song about a girl's struggle to find her spot in the world, was their second single -- a slower, more mellow song that caused many more people to love this band's unique style.

The band has mixed rap, reggae and rock since the late 1980s. "Transistor," compared to their earlier works, has more singing, lighter melodies and more enlightening, positive lyrics. All five guys contributed to this album.

Sexton, the drummer, has his own instrumental work "Color"; Mahoney, the guitarist, has "Running" under his belt and Wills, the bassist, has "Creature Feature", a song about being good and kindhearted to everyone but also understanding the fact that we all have flaws. Hexum and Martinez write together on almost every track, as they perform vocals.

The unique quality of this band is how straightforward they are in their lyrics and shows. During the Nov. 6 concert, Hexum voiced his opinion on marijuana -- legalizing it and the police's current problem with it. Hexum is obviously pro-marijuana, as the concert-goers found out when he changed the lyrics in the song "Feel So Good" ("Music," 1993.)

The song usually is sung as "Just take a moment to have a fit once in awhile", whereas in the concert he changed the lyrics to "Just take a moment to smoke a joint once in awhile." They also write many lyrics about "passing the kind bud" and smoking your "bootyweed."

The guys have always voiced their opinion on many topics. They have appeared on MTV's "Rock the Vote" political shows in the past years and they showed their support for the alternative sports of snowboarding, skateboarding, biking and inline skating when they performed at MTV's Sports and Music Festival (Nov. 7 and 8).

All in all, the energy this band displays on-stage and on their records has the intensity of an earthquake: It shakes the ground, makes you jump and you can feel the energy for moments afterward.

There is hardly anything more grand than enduring a remarkable concert.

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