I used to think I knew what real punk was but it turns out I had no idea. Back in the day you would find me every weekend either crowdkilling at a Pig Destroyer show or pig destroying at a Crowdkiller show. Crowdkiller, for those who don’t know, were a goregrind band who played exclusively in slaughterhouses. So fucking raw.
No one could tell me anything about REAL punk. That was until I saw Anal Cunt and they played their best song “311 Sucks!!” It was the greatest song I had ever heard and it blew my mind to discover it was an abridged cover of “Down” by 311. Did this mean that maybe “Down” itself was a great song? Was Anal Cunt, the band who embodies everything that is punk, is wrong about 311?
Does 311 actually suck? Or are they secretly a punk band even greater than Anal Cunt? I’ve wondered for years. When I learned 311 was playing in my area, I knew I had to check it out.
On the night of the show I had to stab multiple security guards to get into the venue (an arena, not a basement like I had envisioned) without paying. When 311 hit the stage the energy in the building was electric. Singer Nick Hexum was wearing his trademark Clash shirt, 311’s punk cred was already rising in my mind. I hoped they might cover an AC classic like “Domestic Violence is Really Really Really Funny.”
I made my way toward the stage and eyed up the other guys in the pit. Most of them were pretty jacked and wearing baggy football or basketball jerseys. It looked more like a Madball show than an AC show, but I could still tell it was gonna go off.
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311 hit the first note of their dreamy reggae ballad “Amber” and from that point on the PIT. WAS. LIT! Punches were being thrown (by me, mostly), and I was surprised to find myself caught in the craziest, brutalist, bloodiest mosh I’d ever seen. It took a minute but soon the punches were coming back my way. These bros knew how to fucking rock! A few of the bros seemed to be targeting me in the pit, though.
Actually all of them were.
But I get it, I was the only one wearing Anal Cunt’s “Hitler was a Sensitive Man” tee so I was clearly the guy to challenge. One of the jocks caught me pretty good with a left hook and my memories from the show are pretty spotty after that. I’m pretty sure I crowd surfed for a long time, or maybe it was more like I was being dragged somewhere? I don’t think 311 covered “Domestic Violence is Really Really Really Funny” like I had hoped, but like I said, it’s all very hazy, so I could be wrong.
When I came to, I was in a holding cell with bloody knuckles, a black eye, a chunk of some girl’s hair, and a ticket stub from the most goddamn punk show I’ve ever been to. It was the best night of my life. I can’t thank Anal Cunt enough for introducing me to the greatness that is 311.
Article by Eric Navarro @erictries2hard