First of all, sorry about leaving you hanging yesterday! The evening just got away from me… I am sure you were just sitting on the edge of your seat just WAITING for part three. :)
Well, here we are, at the final installment of my Vegas recap. Are you still alive? Hopefully breaking it up in 3 parts made it a *little* less painful to get through. :) By the way, if you missed my first 2 posts, part one can be found here, and part two here. Now…let’s get back to it!
When we left off, it was the eve of 311 day, and the gang was getting ready to go to the concert event of our lifetimes.
Let me first give you a little bit of history and background on this whole 311 day concert experience. Let’s just say it’s a pretty big deal to us 311 fans. Here is a little snippet from the 311 website that explains it quite well:
311 DAY HISTORY
Since 2000, every other year on March 11th ("311 Day"), the multi-platinum group 311 holds a very special concert event that attracts thousands of fans from around the world. The event is typically held in New Orleans. As a result, the mayor of New Orleans officially proclaimed March 11th as "311 Day" in New Orleans. However, due to a massive medical convention overtaking the vast majority of hotel rooms in downtown New Orleans, the 311 Day concert for 2010 is moving to Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
Billed as "the ultimate 311 concert experience",311 Day is the premiere event for 311 fans to gather and celebrate their love of the group and to witness the most exciting 311 show of the year. 311 plays an extended setlist (5 hours) of hits, rarities and covers; backed by a state of the art light and special effects show. Past shows have also included appearances by circus performers, aerial acrobats, fire twirlers, stilt walkers, jugglers, drumlines, and marching bands.
March 11th is considered a holiday to 311 fans around the globe - and 311's dedicated following of fans travel to the 311 Day show from far and wide.
For 311 Day 2008, tickets were sold to fans in all 50 US states and 13 different countries. The band played a 5 hour show (63 songs) for a sold out crowd of 14,000+ at New Orleans Arena.
In 2006, 311 played a 5 hour show, 66 songs. / In 2004, 311 played a 5 hour show, 68 songs. / In 2002, 311 played a 4 hour show, 59 songs. / In 2000, 311 played a†3 hour and 11 minute show, 47 songs.
A“Live From New Orleans" DVD of the 311 Day 2004 show was released in October 2004 and is now certified Platinum. With many music fans having heard about the concert or having seen the DVD...the legacy of 311 Day is now stronger than ever. And the 311 Day concert event in Las Vegas will certainly live up to the legacy.
It's clear that 311 Day has become more than a concert. It's a true happening. An event that began organically and has taken on a life of it's own. For 3 days the city of Las Vegas will be swarming with 311 fans - meeting there together to celebrate the music of 311. See you in Vegas!!
Can I just say that I get the chills from reading that? Great, because I do. :)
So, as I was saying, we made our way to the Mandalay Bay Events Center around 6pm that night, thinking we had plenty of time to get in, get a beer and find our seats before the 7:00 show. Ha. Oh, were we wrong. We walked down the hallway (the same hallway where we waited in the 3 hour line for merchandise, ironically enough) only to find about 5,000 other 311 fans. I am not exaggerating. There were so many people it was insane. Apparently no one thought about the fact that 10,000 people would all be coming to the same door at the same time, because mass hysteria ensued.
This is a really awful picture, but it shows you what I’m talking about. You can’t even see the door to get into the place in this picture. Yeah, I wasn’t exaggerating.
So after about 45 minutes of moving at one step per minute, we finally made it to the door. (May I also add that in that entire stretch we only saw 1 trash can. ONE. I wish I got a photo, because it seriously looked like a beer volcano. Who were they kidding? One trash can. Ha.) Next up we had to wind our way through all of the people, and make our way to the beer line. We waited in line some more, got our beers, and headed to find our seats. By this time it was about 7:45, and I will admit I was having a small panic attack because the show was supposed to start at 7 and I knew it could begin at ANY minute. Well I was right. Just as we were getting in to find our seats, the place erupted. So we scrambled, we spilled beer, we tripped over people, but before they even finished their first song we were happily plopped in our seats and ready to go.
I did have to sit down for the first song or two, and regain my composure. I am normally not a concert sitter-downer (yes, I am fully aware that I made that word up), but in this case it was necessary. After a few deep breaths and a gulp of beer, though, I was ready to rock. And that is exactly what I did. For 5 hours. Yep, FIVE HOURS.
Here’s a photo of the hubs and I at one of the intermissions. This concert was so long they had to have intermissions. 3 of them. CRAZY.
Please excuse how incredibly pale we both look in this picture…I really can’t tell you what that’s all about. You can also excuse how drunk we look. I can tell you what that’s all about – we drank a lot of beer. :)
And here’s one of Ash and I…
What are you talking about? We are totally sober.
And one of the guys…also sober as can be.
What, you don’t believe me?
Next up are just a few pictures I took of the actual show – now, these aren’t very good, I’ll tell you that right now. I didn’t bring the DSLR to the concert, just my point & shoot, so the quality isn’t great. Not to mention it was a concert and we weren’t right in front of the stage or anything (we were actually behind the stage – weird, I know), so they are taken from kind of far away, as well. At any rate, they do show a few bits of what we saw that night, which was total amazingness (I am all about making up words today), so I feel compelled to share.
This first one shows *almost* the whole band. On the right playing guitar that’s Tim Mahoney (better known as miT), then to the left of him is SA Martinez, gettin his groove on, then you have Chad Sexton on the drums – a rotating drum set nonetheless, with Nick Hexum singing up front, and that elbow on the left side belongs to the bass guitarist, P-Nut. I’m not a 311 nerd, I swear.
Like I said, this concert went on for 5 hours. They played 60 songs. It. Was. Awesome. (have I said that yet?) And we rocked out the entire time.
Can you see how much fun these guys have on stage?? Now you know why I love them so much. :) Oh how I wish I was close enough/have a nice enough camera/was cool enough to get images like these… *sigh*
So. If I haven’t expressed in enough yet… we had an AWESOME time at the concert. It was seriously one of the greatest concerts ever. In 2012 311 day is supposed to be back in New Orleans, and let’s just say I’m already making plans. :) We will be there.
After the concert, we were all on adrenaline highs (ok we may have been a *smidge* intoxicated as well…), and we roamed The Strip once again. We didn’t last very long, though…we were all pretty exhausted. We made it back to our hotel, tried really hard to get some food (but apparently all 10,000 other 311 fans had the same idea, and the only place open in the hotel was McDonalds. No way were we waiting in that line.), but eventually ended up back in our room. We all gathered in the boys’ room and attempted to order a pizza from room service, but a 3 hour wait was not sounding so good. So we crashed. And boy did we.
I woke up on Friday morning in all of my clothes, on top of the covers. I’m amazed I even managed to take my shoes off. It was about 6am Vegas time, and I pretty much felt like dying. I have never been so exhausted (read: hung-over) in my life. It took me about 4 hours to get to the point where I could even walk out of the hotel room – thankfully the hubs wasn’t quite as bad off and was able to pack up for us while I held a pity party for one.
Once everyone was up and moving, we hit The Strip for one last hurrah before heading out. We drove down to the Stratosphere, being the one main thing left on our list to see.
We all agreed that the next time we go back we will go up and ride the rides (although I was pretty much lying, I don’t EVEN want to ride those things – no. thank. you.), since we didn’t have time this trip.
Then we piled back into the car, and headed home. Well, at least we thought we were heading home. After driving for about an hour, we saw a sign that looked something like this:
Yes, that is the state of CALIFORNIA you see. (The sign actually looked nothing like that, but it did have a picture of the state of California on it!) We all looked at each other, thought about it, and then realized we were going the wrong way. And had been, for the last hour. AWESOME. So 2 hours into our trip home, we were back in Vegas. At the time, it was humorous, but about 20 hours later when we wanted nothing more than to be at our own homes, we were seriously kicking ourselves. But now that it’s all said and done, it’s back to being humorous. :)
The rest of the drive was pretty ho-hum. We were all trying to hold our stomachs together, pretending like we weren’t completely hung-over and stuck in the car for an ENTIRE DAY. But alas, we made it back to good old Kansas, all in one piece.
We took one final photo…
Then we dropped everyone off, headed home, and slept for 16 straight hours. No, I am not kidding. It was blissful. Yet, somehow, I was STILL exhausted the next day, and for about 3 days afterwards. Vegas does a number on you. But I can’t wait to go back!
Well, congratulations if you made it all the way to the end of this. Now you know everything you could possibly (not) want to know about our trip, and have the pictures to go along with it. Well, some of them. I think I added a few since I started, so that “40 pictures” statement from part one is probably a lie now. Regardless, the trip was AWESOME, and I can’t wait to do it all over again in 2 years. :)