Double- Headliner, 311 & Dirty Heads Play Volvo Car Stadium with Bikini Trill, Dreamers and The Interrupters
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Everett Zuraw
On July 31st, I set out to shoot and experience the double-headliner 311 & Dirty Heads with Bikini Trill, Dreamers, and The Interrupters at the Volvo Car Stadium. Located on Daniel Island, the Stadium serves primarily as a sports venue for regional events. On occasion, it serves as a performance venue for national acts. General admission to the stadium floor was standing room only, with seats enveloping the sandy green space. At the beginning of the night, the lines were not long. But by the end, the stadium appeared packed, with people standing up from their seats and dancing to the music.
Despite passing the Stadium hundreds of times, it was my first time at the venue while living in Charleston. Deceptive, at least from the point of view from the highway, the stadium is rather compact. Elevated primarily by the bleachers, at the top tier of seats, it expands out to create the illusion of a coliseum-space.
Despite missing their set, I went back to listen to the works of Bikini Trill, our first trio from Los Angeles, California. They recently released their second album,, “Nah, Pull over!”. Coming off the record, the tracks “Valley View” (track 3) and “Loser” (track 6) provide a chill, trippy introduction to their electronic hip-hop music. With the titular track “Nah, Pull over” serving as a minute-long outro for the album, it stands to reason one should re-listen to the album to become lost in the beats.
Last year, Trill released “Wassup, We Good”, a mix of lo-fi beats and references to the rising culture created by the legalization/acceptance for the use of Marijuana. The background in “Smoke a Jay, And Watch Yourself Dance” & “Sticky Treez”, is filled with guitar slides and reverberation of vocals, turning into prominent staples. Glitter and synths collide in a fair amount of the songs (I would recommend watching the music video for “Chapo Howl.”) If Dreamers & The Interrupters were not acting as supporting acts, Bikini Trills served as a great opener for 311 & Dirty Heads, fitting into the hip-hop & reggae genre vibes, while providing their own style.
Hailing from Los Angeles, though originally based in New York, Dreamers has been building up a decent following with songs such as "Sweet Disaster" and "Die Happy" over the past few years. Coming off the release of their second album, “Launch Fly Land”, they have charted some hits both nationally, as well as being showcased on KROQ and rotated in the likes of Planet Fitness.
For a half-hour set, Nick Wold, Marc Nelson, and Jacob Wick warmed up the expanding audience as the sun touched the top of the Stadium bleachers. Arriving right at the end of their first song, I wandered the general floor crowd while singing along to some of their tracks. Experiencing Dreamers twice before, I believe the audience, arriving early enough, were in for a treat.
I found a few members giving into the positive vibe of inclusion set out by Wold, main vocalist for the trio. While some of the audience took selfies, his pink hair became a staple of attention; he spoke a bit about wanting the album(s) to be shared in the faith of having a joined experience of their world.
Towards the end of the set, Wold and Nelson played with their strings front to front. In the end, Wold thanked those coming out early enough in the night, and raised his guitar high before leaving the stage. Nelson and Wick broke down their gear alongside their touring manager/candids photographer, CJ.
The Interrupters, also hailing from Los Angeles, played a half-hour set. Kicking off with “A Friend Like Me”, the band performed the first songs of each of their albums (Fight The Good Fight, Say It Out Loud, and The Interrupters). With their music being defined as Ska-punk, the roots of their music can be seen echoing the likes of the 1990s punk and Caribbean funk/jazz-fusion.
Warming up the audience, the band played a little call and response throughout their set, encouraging others to sing along if they knew the lyrics. With prominent horns, “She Got Arrested” blended into “Treat The Youth Right”. For their seventh song, the band played a cover of “Bad Guy”, notably performed by Billie Eilish.
Ending their set, the performance of “She’s Kerosene”, instantly reminded me the work of Gogol Bordello, specifically with the polka-paced beats hinted as the song felt like it was going faster and faster.
Off their albums, I would recommend listening to “Got Eachother”, and “Room With A View”. The backing to most of their tracks is fast paced, with the chorus of band members acting as a call and response to the main lyrics.
Not far from Los Angeles, the first headliner of the night was Dirty Heads. Hailing from Huntington Beach, Dirty Heads has been active since 2006. They have noted that they took influence from Sublime to the Black Keys.
hey kicked off their hour-long set with a stretched intro to “Burn Slow”, as percussion played into an introduction of Jared Watson and Dustin Bushnell. LED screens lit up with flame motifs, rising high as smoke billowed out from machines on both side of the stage. Dirty Heads set was filled with lyrics spat out against a chill, though polarizing tempo.
“Your Love” and “Super Moon” were highlights of their set, leading to “Medusa”, a song leaning more on the edge of trap music, with rhythmic shakes. After “Medusa,” the set returned to a chiller vibe with “Moon Tower”.
The rest of their set was filled with lyrics spat out against a chill, though polarizing tempo. Keeping the crowd energized throughout, and more often causing members of the audience in the back to dance to the beat more than try to catch up with the lyrics.
I would recommend everyone to check out the music video for “Vacation”, off of “Swim Team” from 2017. It is quite a humorous video with Saved By The Bell’s Dennis Haskins, reprising his role of an uptight principal lip-syncing the lyrics.
311 have by far hailed from the City of Angeles the longest. With three decades under their belt, the band persists with the recently released “Voyager” (their 13th Album released on July 12th). A continuation of their rap-rock style, bordering
Before their set, a message from Nick Hexum, lead vocalist of 311, appeared on screen. Showcasing a promise of dedicating a portion of sales to VH-1 Save The Music Foundation and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), the video ended with the beginning of a timer, counting down from 15 minutes. Nearing the 3 minutes, 11 second mark, the audience began to chant “Three AH-leven! Three eleven!”
The set kicked off with purple lights mixed against the beginnings of “Homebrew”. Leading into “All Mixed Up” and “Beautiful Disaster”. Nick Hexum and Doug “SA” Martinez traded positions on the stage throughout. As Hexum strummed a guitar and sang, SA would dance by guitarist Tim Mahoney.
Aaron “P-Nut” Wills stood on the right side of the stage, intentionally making faces more often than moving his feet. P-Nut often stuck his tongue out, squinting an eye for those filming, or snapping a shot of his performance. His neon cap, along with lights along the neck of his guitar, became a prominent fixture when the stage lights turned dark, or took on a cold tone. Essentially, when the lights were low, P-Nut becomes a focused spot of green. But often with the start of each song a beam of light would focus on Mahoney, on the opposite side of the stage.
Chad Sexton played an extended drum solo for “Applied Silence”, with crew bringing in two sets of drums for the rest of the band to bang against, in sync, after a brief light show. Tossing their sticks to one-another, the band members sped up the pace as the crowd cheered on. Ending with Hexum tossing sticks out to the crowd, the band transitioned to the next song.
The set came to a close with “Amber”, followed by “Creatures” and “Down”. Amber featured a prominent use of gold and brown lighting from the LED Screen and spotlights, with the audience cheering and singing along. Down ended with cheers, as the band got together on the front of the stage. Hexum and P-Nut lifted their guitars in the air before exiting the stage, while the crew and remaining members of the band began to break down.