The excitement was palpable on the Carnival Destiny as it prepared to leave the Port of Miami. The 3,000 fans of 311 aboard the ship finally quieted down for the mandatory safety drill. Nothing could stop them now as they took to the lido deck to see 311 play as the boat sailed away.
Nothing except maybe…lighting. The skies opened up with rain and thunder, forcing the road crew to cover up the outdoor stage. But the inclement weather did little to darken the mood of 311′s most diehard fans. ”The Excitable Ones” aka “The Familia” came from all over the globe to see their favorite band. Many arrived early in South Beach for both official and non-official fan events. They shared touring tales about 311 Day in Las Vegas and the Red Rocks show in Colorado, and slammed blended drinks with dangerous names like “Call a Cab.” It felt like spring break, only with adult incomes to fuel it and years of love for a band behind it.
Fans dressed in homemade 311 gear, representing every state and era of the band. The ship provided a dorm-like setting where instead of rule-enforcing RA’s, there were attentive cruise staffers providing incredible service, immaculate cabins, and towel animals for late night cuddling.
First, the fans cuddled up together for 311′s first set of the trip. Opening with “Hive,” singers Nick Hexum and SA Martinez had the crowd in a frenzy singing along to every word. Bassist P-Nut, guitarist Tim Mahoney and drummer Chad Sexton provided the groove that had the boat rocking with the fans jumping in unison. 10 songs later, beer buckets and exotic drinks were flowing like an open bar at a crashed wedding and the band dropped into “Science.”
Halfway through the song, lightning echoed over the ship like a Sunday morning beer fart on a metal church pew. The crowd erupted into a “311, 3, 3, 11″ chant and the band powered on. Three more solid booms and more lightning in the distance put the weather safety contingency plan into action and it was determined the band would have to take a break for the safety of the fans, crew and artists. After 10 minutes of waiting and scanning the coming weather, it was decided the show would be indefinitely postponed.
The Familia accepted the news with grace and spread throughout the ship, still worked up from the show. Sixthman, the Atlanta-based promoter of the 311 Cruise, acted fast and made sure the fans were aware of the changes in programming. They provided top-notch customer service in the face of unexpected weather. There were more activities and live shows planned for the inside venues, and if this first performance was indicative of the party on the way, the Excitable Ones were in for a once- in-a-lifetime experience. The break in the action allowed the Entertainment Cruise Review team to take to the inner decks and venues to feel the pulse of the 311 Cruise.