Rewind: 311, Offspring & Gym Class Heroes
The Never Summer Tour made a stop on a warm summer night at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse recently. It was a double headliner featuring two staples of 90s radio; The Offspring and 311. Though not quite the ‘world record’ crowd boasted by The Offspring’s lead guitarist, Noodles, fans packed the Amp and rocked out all night.
They were supported by opening act Gym Class Heroes. The group formed in the late 90s in Geneva, NY, so they had a bit of a homecoming in Syracuse. Rapper Travie McCoy described playing in Syracuse as coming full circle. Their set included “Stereo Hearts,” the Supertramp sampling “Cupid’s Chokehold,” “Ass Back Home” and “Kid Nothing.”
The Offspring next took the stage for a 17-song set. Unlike the other two bands of the night that tend to have a mix of styles, The Offspring are a straight up punk rock band. The band tore through classics such as “Come Out And Play,” “Original Prankster,” “Why Don’t You Get A Job?,” “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” and “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)”.
Two highlights of their set was an absolutely blistering cover of the AC/DC rocker “Whole Lotta Rosie” that really got the fans pumped. A few songs later was a change from their usual sound with the closest thing they have to a ballad, the somber “Gone Away.” Most of the song featured lead singer Dexter Holland alone with a piano hammering out the chords, until the end of the song when the rest of the band joined in to bring it home.
They finished up their set with two of their biggest hits, “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and the song that put them on the map, “Self Esteem.” As one of the architects of the 90s resurgence of punk rock, The Offspring still have it and show no signs of slowing down.
311 is one of those rare groups that have been around for decades and still has all the classic members from when they first made it big. They blend together genres such as rock, metal, hip hop, reggae, and pop to create something uniquely… 311. Lead by the smooth vocals of Nick Hexum and rap stylings of Doug Martinez, 311 opened the first half of the show with “Come Original” and others such as “All Mixed Up,” “Do You Right,” a cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong” and “Beautiful Disaster.”
About halfway through the show, drummer Chad Sexton started his drum solo. This is fairly standard practice at rock concerts, and for several minutes it was a fairly standard (albeit excellent) drum solo. It really got interesting when the lights came up on the rest of the stage to reveal four large tom-tom drums had been brought out. The other four members came back out on stage and the five of them proceeded to do a drumline routine. This is not standard. The crowd was cheering with every beat.
The back half of the show was no less packed with hits from their 27 year, 12 album career: “Flowing,” “Lucky,” the low key “Amber,” “You Wouldn’t Believe” and “Creatures (For A While)” among others. They ended the show with “Down,” the smash hit from 1996 that first garnered them national attention.
All three bands put on excellent performances and 311 in particular had a great light show. They continue their never ending summer together with show dates through early September. Gym Class heroes then has a short run of dates with Fall Out Boy.
James Suits / James Suits Photography / The Fuze Magazine
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