Music is a language you don't need to speak to understand.
I once found myself sitting in a car in Italy with my cousin Brett and three Italians who didn't speak a lick of English. They were having their own conversation... until "Killing in the Name Of" came on the radio and we all connected by yelling "Fuck you I won't do you tell me!" Ah, music.
But that story actually doesn't illustrate my earlier point. For it's not about lyrics, but the feeling. And as I write this, I realize that these Italians may not even know what "I won't do you tell me" means. They just felt the energy, which allowed us all to connect.
I've been shooting the band 311 since 1999. Brett and Evan turned me onto their album "Music," which became one of those records I just couldn't stop listenting to. When I finally saw them in concert, I was moved not just by the energy of the songs, but the circular energy between the band and audience. Call and response, jumping up and down the beat in unison... And despite a few mosh pits breaking out, the overall vibe was positivity. Unity. Familia. All words you can see tattooed on any given fan.
This moment was captured on 311's very own bi-annual holiday - 311 Day. Tim Mahoney may be known to most as the lead guitarist of a reggae/rap/rock band. But from the day I heard Tim break out "Tennessee Jed" during soundcheck, I knew his roots run deep.
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