TX:Promoted by Goldenvoice/KROQ. Reviewed June 22, 1996. The accomplished and eclectic sounds of 311 are finally finding an audience worthy of the band’s talent and potential. And considering the powerful show the group performed here, the music world’s timing couldn’t be better. The L.A.-based quintet formed in Omaha, Neb., in 1990 and has been on a slow, steady climb toward mainstream favor ever since. Combining rap, rock, reggae, jazz and R&B stylings into one potent and unique brew, 311 distinguishes itself from the usual flavors of the day with an informed hip-hop flow, an ever-changing potpourri of sounds and styles, and an unyielding positivity that permeates the group’s high-energy concerts.
TX:At the very sold-out (street scalpers were seen desperately looking for unwanted tickets) Palladium, the band played its biggest ever headlining show in L.A. Opening with the celebratory “Homebrew,” from 1994’s “Grassroots,” 311 set a rabid pace for itself and the frenzied audience that both easily maintained throughout the 80-minute show.
Vocalists Nick Hexum and S.A. Martinez traded sharp rap lines, reggae bursts and smart harmonies; the instrumentalists — guitarist Tim Mahoney, bassist P-Nut and drummer Chad Sexton — continually impressed with a dexterous and infectious style that complimented the two singers’ flow.
311’s latest, self-titled album is fast approaching gold-level sales, and the group has a big summer ahead, headlining shows during the Horde and Warped tours. Considering that the president of Mercury Records, which recently bought Capricorn, has named 311 as one of the label’s priorities, it’s easy to see the band’s long-expected breakthrough is just around the corner.