Last Night: 311 at The Woodlands

311 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 15, 2012

"Three eleven. Three three eleven!" The crowd chanted over and over.

The anticipation was crazy. It was all a rush. Especially for my friend and I.

I'll give y'all the scoop of how my night went. My best friend and I went out to The Woodlands Mall to grab some dinner before the show. We kept track of time. We were making sure that we were going to make it on time to see Slightly Stoopid play before 311.

Well, our adventure had other plans for the night.

We arrived to will call to pick up the tickets at 7:30 sharp. Slightly Stoopid had basically just started. I could hear the band jamming away and a yelling that this crowd was a, "dancing one for sure."

Finally I got up to the window at will call. I swear I have a sweating disorder or it was just humid as hell. I think both. Regardless I was hot and my best friend had to pee like no one's business. Next thing I heard from the lady on the other side of the glass window was, "ma'am I don't have them. They're probably at security."

We were directed towards security to grab the tickets. Only thing is, our tickets weren't there either. I was pretty confused, but I waited it out for someone to sort things around. I basically stood and sweated while my friend did the pee-pee dance like a little girl. It was clear we needed to get into the pavilion.

Finally at 8:30, Live Nation swooped in to rescue us. We got our tickets. (Thanks for that again, y'all.)

Twenty minutes to spare. The sun had gone down and I felt so relieved. That bathroom break was taken care of. Finally, we made it to our seats. And may I say, great seats. Got to thank whoever hooked it up.

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Soon those 20 minutes were up and the chants settled in. And the band made their own to the stage. 8:50 on the dot, the crowd got down. Literally down. 311 opened up with their well-known hit single, "Down," making sure everyone got into the groove immediately.

I have to admit I like when musicians open up with something that gets the whole crowd amped. They play something that everyone pretty much recognizes, so that the whole crowd is pulled from the start. Some bands don't do that, and I must say it is kind of a concert pet peeve of mine, I suppose.

From the get-go, my best friend could not get over how attractive lead singer Nick Hexum was or is. Funny thing is, I couldn't agree more. I've never seen a guy pulled off khaki pants so well in my life.

But yes Hexum is a pretty fly guy or, sweet and simple, a stud. The night was in full swing, the crowd singing and dancing along the whole time.

The guy next to me couldn't stop moving. It was pretty hysterical. I don't know how he did that, because they were plenty of people taking breaks and sitting down here and there. Not this dude, however.

I was so happy the hear "Amber" live. I can't tell you how long I've wanted to sing and dance along to that song. Scratch that off the bucket list. However I was on another world when "Beautiful Disaster" was played.

"Beautiful Disaster" was that itself. The song had everyone up on their feet. The trees started lighting up. And by trees, I hope you know what I mean. (The Woodlands were not harmed in the crowd's excessive smoking Sunday night.)

But soon enough security started to smell the trees and swooped down my row. No, I didn't have anything (calm down), but it was clear someone around me did. I must say it was kind of funny watching security look around for bud as people was just banging their head and grooving to the song in their own little fancy ways.

Wonder how my friend was holding up this whole time? No worries -- her eyes were pretty much set on Hexum. She did point something out to me last night about people's dance moves.

Some people looked awesome in their elaborate dance combinations. It was pretty much the Humpty Dance meets "Lemme Smang It" while throwing in some random jumping up and down.

After playing, "Don't Tread On Me," drummer Chad Sexton took it away with an amazing solo. It started off slow then progressed faster and then he just kept going. It was pretty much a tease, because the solo was so good, but no one knew what was next or even when it would stop. Five minutes into the solo (yes I checked my phone) and Sexton was going strong.

I overheard someone yell, "Go on with your bad self!" And man did he. The suspense of the crowd was growing. Finally the crowd could catch up to the beat and began clapping along. But just when you thought that the solo was over the rest of the band came out onto the stage.

The whole stage was now lit up and you could see that separate drums were put out for each member to join in on. The crowd got at least 10 minutes of drums and just couldn't contain themselves. Neither could I, though.

It was by far the most intense drum or yet percussion work I have seen since the movie, Drumline. (Yeah, sorry, no real comparison because 311 killed it.)

Finally everyone was back their own ways of playing. Each member then got their own solo as a way of introducing themselves. Needless to say "P-Nut" (nickname from bass guitarist Aaron Wills) got down.

He got the bass into a melodic flow and even brought some more edgy sounds into the flow of things. The crowd loved it and yelled "P-Nut" over and over. He definitely can slap some bass.

But before we knew it, 311 exited the stage, but clearly no one was leaving. Everyone wanted an encore. The chanting began once again. "Three eleven. Three three eleven."

I kept hoping they would play the cover of "Love Song" by The Cure, but they didn't. I think I put my hope a little too high on that one, but it was still an amazing encore and better yet, an entire show.

Personal Bias: I love 311. I'm a little upset I didn't get to see Slightly Stoopid, but at least I didn't miss 311. The show honestly surprised me. I didn't expect it to be that amazing and man was I wrong. My best friend loved it too. Or Hexum?

Overheard In the Crowd: "P-Nut!" was heard all throughout the night. Most of what I heard was some people asking for bud, or just singing along.

Random Notebook Dump: Damn, Doug "SA" Martinez (rapper/turntables/backing vocals) is sweating up a storm. (Yes, he changed his shirt during Sexton's drum solo.)

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