Local Wire

311 @ Mesa Amphitheater

311's Nick Hexum is less a frontman than a cult of personality, adored by the least savory cross-section of music fans: Freon-huffing 14-year-olds who whip their dicks out in remedial algebra. For more than a generation now, Hexum has been the de facto surrogate parent to hordes of bastard children — the poor souls who aren't complete until they're tagged in a Facebook photo of Marley's Mellow Mood — and he's not shy about owning that role. With his masterly styled chin hair and dating record (a pre-glam Nicole Scherzinger being the most famous notch on his Billabong belt), the man's bro-dawg credentials are unimpeachable. But even the most jaded sophisticate has to give it up to 311: They've managed a couple of (unironically!) great singles. Unlike Anthony Kiedis, Hexum isn't a kinetic spitfire who weaves in and out of rap cadences with a breath's notice; his guitarist can't compete with John Frusciante or Incubus' Mike Einziger. "All Mixed Up," "I'll Be Here Awhile" and "Don't Tread on Me" nonetheless nail a ductile, appetizing languor. Even if they'll never transcend their limitations, 311 deserve some credit for braving the elements.

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Richards, MT