311 knows the secret to maintain a loyal fan base for over 20 years: tour nonstop; build a solid online community; then invite fans on a Caribbean vacation. It helps to have a band name consisting of numbers that can coincide with a month and day so your band has an excuse to host an annual (or bi-annual) event. If you haven't noticed, 3-11 Day (March 11th) is considered an international holiday among fans.
Last week marked the band's third, and most attended, destination cruise to date. Over 2,600 fans gathered aboard the Norwegian Pearl for a five-day sold-out cruise with 311 to the Caribbean. Fans representing 49 states and 10 countries flew in from as far as Japan to attend the festivities, which seemed like a reunion/homecoming to fans who consider themselves part of the 311 family.
311 kicked off the event with "Don't Stay Home," an appropriate and catchy alt-rock-reggae song, during a live performance as the ship was leaving the Port of Miami. This performance marked longtime fan Julie Gonzalez's 211th 311 show.
"Maybe I'll stop after my 311th show," Gonzalez told us. "No, who am I kidding... I can't."
311 performed three outdoor shows on the ship's deck this year. Their beach show was cancelled due to high winds. We were most stoked to hear "Full Ride", "I'll Be Here Awhile" and "Tribute". Rarity "Long For the Flowers" was another fan favorite, since it had not been performed live since 2005. To our surprise, neither "Amber" nor 311's cover of "Love Song" was performed during the cruise. (Maybe this request/petition
on 311's online bulletin board had something to do with it). We were only glad "Amber" wasn't played because we would have been charged an arm and leg to amber our friends back home.
Amber (verb): A customary 'prank' 311 concert attendees do to someone who isn't a fan of 311's song "Amber" is to call them while that song is being performed live.
Sentence: Oh man, I have like five voicemails now because I was being Ambered by all of you assholes at the same time.