Hand it to rock-rap group 311. They’ve been at it for 25 years and have maintained the same line-up ever since, and while they’ve dabbled with changing their sound on albums like “Evolver” and “Universal Pulse,” they still deliver a polished mix of feel-good faux-reggae lyrics, uplifting rap, chugga-chugga metal riffing, and funk bass and drums. On one hand, you can say they have a formula and churn it out; on the other, you can say they’re the most reliable of the ’90s bands that are left.
311 were in town as headliners for KJEE’s Summer Roundup at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Thursday. It had been a beastly day for the heat, way up in 90s, possibly in the 100s, with four different weather services claiming four different temperatures. So the idea of sitting at the Bowl watching three other bands open for 311 may not have been ideal for a lot of folks. Even by the end of the evening, large chunks of seats went unfilled.