Pop, Punk Rock, Ska, and… Hip-Hop?! Alright, I’m in! Gilford, New Hampshire was host to what is probably the most fun-loving tour of the summer, the co-headlining tour of California’s The Dirty Heads and Nebraska’s own 311, along with The Interrupters, Bikini Trill, and Dreamers.
Getting there a little after the first band Dreamers started playing, they set a solid tone for the evening. Simple, charming, tight musicianship. Almost like a musical palette cleanser to clear up whatever you were listening to in the car ride up to the Pavillion out of your head before the show starts. These guys are a close-knit three-piece band out of New York, go check them out!
Next up was a band that I had never heard of, but thoroughly enjoyed their name, Bikini Trill. Hailing from Los Angeles, they were a combination of surf-rock, pop, and hip-hop. Solid performance, surprisingly impressive vocal range, and killer rhythm to boot. This is a band you need check out if you’re in the mood for what it would be like if No Doubt, Sublime, and lo-fi Hip-Hop all got thrown into a blender and were given a microphone afterward.
Exploding onto the stage next was The Interrupters, a band that was all kinds of lively and energetic from the moment the stage lights were fired on. New age Punk Rock with a strong AF vocalist commanding the audience with a personality that made you feel as though she was your best friend, quite literally, she jumped into the audience and caused quite the commotion, in a good way though, remember… this is a family show! Every member of this band could be a front-runner to lead their own band entirely, they all have so much charisma, talent, and stage presence. Justin Bivona, the bass player, in particular, was entertaining as hell for me, as he consistently was a ham in front of the camera while I was shooting.
Being that this was a co-headlining tour, there was a pretty even 50/50 split on the people who were more excited for 311 and for the Dirty Heads. I will admit, their stage production was second to none! Very spacey and alien-like. They even had a countdown going on the massive screen behind them that was taking place inside of a UFO. Walking out on stage like visitors from another planet they crash-landed into a giant setlist kicked off with ‘Homebrew’ and ‘All Mixed Up’ while closing the set with ‘Down’, complete with 12 other huge hits from their almost thirty-year career. Nick Hexum truly showing why they’ve been around for so long.
After a drastic change to the stage (metal cage risers, and giant video projection screen made to look like an old tube television)Dirty Heads took the stage to an obscenely loud audience, remember how I said there was a solid 50/50 split on 311 and Dirty Head love in the crowd. I saw plenty of people leaving after 311’s set and as soon as the Dirty Heads jumped on the stage the entire venue re-filled up again and erupted in cheers. I’ve always loved these guys and never had the chance to see them live. Their show was lit. Atmospheric tribal drumming stacked on top of turntables and keys being played while smoke (both from the stage and audience) filled the entire venue and having both Jared and Dustin work their way through the smoke was a sight to behold. You could really tell that they love playing this part of the country when they’re on tour, they just have that level and kind of energy you don’t see very often in this style of music. Closing out the night with ‘That’s All I Need’ and ‘Vacation’ these guys really know how to put in a show!!
All in all, this was honestly that most easy-going and fun-loving concert I’ve worked in quite some time. I discovered some new bands that I’ve been listening to non-stop since the show, I thoroughly enjoyed every band that performed, and I even captured what is now my new personal favorite photo I’ve ever taken while 311 was performing. Go check out Dreamers, Bikini Trill, The Interrupters, 311, and The Dirty Heads! If this tour is coming to your area and you wanted to take off for a few hours and feel like you’re in an alien spaceship or on a beach with your feet in the sand and a joint in your hand, do yourself a favor and grab a ticket to this tour of the summer!
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS SMALL