by: 311

This concert document seems about as necessary as a pet rock. Omaha, NE's stoniest residents plow through their most popular songs without any sense of spontaneity or improvisation. When their biggest hit, the in-your-face funk chant "Down," kicks off the show, you might swear that their self-titled studio album from which it came was accidentally put into the disc player. It's easy to see how 311 gets a crowd riled up in person: their underlying reggae-lite vibe is exactly the kind of groove that teens love to sway their heads to, and 311's bursts of skater-rage bass welcome aggressive hopping. But without the benefit of being there, the sounds fall flat, especially without the vocal swells the band use so gratuitously in the studio. When songs end, the static roars of the crowd come on so forcefully that they actually sound dubbed over. Even with spacy songs like "Who's Got the Herb?," the blatant Santana rip-off guitar solos of "Nix Hex," and "Homebrew," the experience isn't good enough for a contact high associated with the best, or even semi-competent, live albums. ~ Jason Kaufman

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