We had the awesome opportunity to review one of the summer’s biggest tours, especially in the reggae rock genre. The tour consisted of heavy weights, 311 and Slightly Stoopid, as well as support from The Aggrolites. You can check out our review after the break.
The 311 Unity Tour rolled into Chicago’s Charter One Pavilion on August 17, 2012, bringing along Slightly Stoopid and The Aggrolites for support. This show in particular was special for me because it was almost one year ago at the 2011 Slightly Stoopid headline show at Charter One that I first started writing for Digital Tour Bus. I was more than excited to head out to Chicago’s lakefront for this magnificent lineup on what turned out to be a cool and breezy evening affair.
The Aggrolites kicked off the live music for the evening around 6:30pm, replacing the reggae PA music that was occupying the speakers with a more funky and energetic sound. Straight out of Los Angeles, CA, The Aggrolites are a reggae/soul band that I can now say is a must-see for any reggae lover. Featuring both the horn section as well as Kyle from Slightly Stoopid, The Aggrolites incorporated everything available to them to make what turned out to be a truly memorable set. “Time to Get Tough” and “Don’t Let Me Down” were two of my favorite tunes from the short half-hour set. Chicago was the last scheduled date for The Aggrolites before they dropped off the Unity Tour and the roots/reggae band Soja took their place. Despite my love for Soja, I was extremely excited to experience The Aggrolites for the first time. This is some funky stuff that will have you dancing whether you’re an introvert like myself or not.
During the short set-change to set up Slightly Stoopid’s equipment I was approached by a hooligan-looking character who wanted to sell me molly and acid. After I promptly informed him that his gross decision of substances at the reggae show were inappropriate, Slightly Stoopid took the stage and the situation quickly dissipated. The opening tune “Don’t Stop” was a selection from Stoopid’s brand-new 2012 release “Top of the World,” which came out only three days before this show. The next couple of numbers included “Till It Gets Wet,” “Baby I like It,” “2am,” and “Hold On To the One.” Two of my favorites were “Fat Spliffs” and “Closer to the Sun,” which both equally encouraged the crowd to sing along and puff their marijuana. This band of seven people, which covered guitars, drums, percussion, sax, trumpet, and more, jammed along with the experience and precision that would be expected from a 17 year-old band. With smiling faces Slightly Stoopid asked the crowd multiple times who was smoking the good sensimilla, which is to say they were asking who in the crowd was smoking the quality marijuana along to their music. The dancing from the crowd was plentiful, the smell of skunk was in the air, and the dubbed-out reggae tunes were keeping the vibes alive at this wonderful experience.
After 22 years the extraordinary Alt. Rock / Reggae band, 311, is still going strong, and it was on this day that they blew up Charter One Pavilion once again with their amazing performance. Courtesy of the 311 Facebook page, their entire Chicago set list will be posted below. 311 took the stage at 8:50pm, well after the sun had set and the Chicago skyline started to glow in the distance. A cool breeze from Lake Michigan rolled over Charter One just in time for the band to start rocking. The guys opened with their hit “Beautiful Disaster,” which was recognized by all. The noise from the crowd as the song began was incredible, almost making certain vocal parts inaudible from where I was sitting in the grandstand. At this point in the evening it was my vantage point in the grandstands that showed me how packed Charter One really was. The outdoors venue was completely full on both the dance floor as well as the seats. 311 rocked on into the night, creating a very memorable moment for all who were involved.
311 Chicago Setlist:
Sunset In July
All Mixed Up
My Stoney Baby
Stealing Happy Hours
Don’t Stay Home
So You Right
Rub A Dub
Information about the tour…
Tour: Unity Tour 2012 featuring 311 and Slightly Stoopid
Bands: 311, Slightly Stoopid, and The Aggrolites
Reviewer: Michael Nutting
Date: August 17, 2012
Venue: Charter One Pavilion in Chicago, IL