Weezer, 311 bring day one of the three-day fest to a rockin’ close – San Bernardino Sun

“What an awesome place to have a concert,” vocalist-guitarist Nick Hexum of 311 told the large crowd gathered on the sand at Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach on Friday.

The rock band hit the Lowtide Stage with “Beautiful Disaster” right at sunset on the first evening of the three-day BeachLife Festival. The cool breeze that kicked up, coupled with the orange, yellow and pink colors that suddenly painted the sky, weren’t lost on Hexum & Co., who paused to breathe in the moment.

By early afternoon, the venue was packed with fans that had finally made their way into the festival, many of whom mentioned they’d left work early to kick-off the three-day weekend of music, each day capped with performances by headliners Weezer, The Smashing Pumpkins and Steve Miller Band. With cold beverages, pricey pizza slices and other portable fest cuisine in hand, patrons migrated back and forth between the two main stages and made a few pit stops to enjoy some of the smaller attractions along the way.

While 311 rocketed through a pretty much flawless set filled with hits like “Come Original,” “Down,” “Do You Right,” its popular cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong” and newer offerings like “Sunset in July” and “Too Late,” Friday headliner Weezer’s turn was plagued by a sound issue. The Hightide Stage, the second main stage at the fest, which was situated closer to civilization upon a sprawling bed of fake grass, had been at a noticeably lower volume throughout the day.

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While it was just an OK volume for performances by bands like Dreamers and Milky Chance, it was a huge bummer later in the day as the place began to fill up to have Black Pumas vocalist Eric Burton’s soulful delivery seemingly lost in the increasing noise pollution.

By the time Weezer took the stage, it was eerily quiet, even directly in front of the band and back by the soundboard. As the guys fired up “Hash Pipe,” the crowd singing along easily drowned them out. As they launched into “Beverly Hills,” fans began chanting “Turn it up! Turn it up!” Some patrons opted to move closer to the stage, but the volume didn’t increase as they packed in and squished together.

It wasn’t until after Weezer ripped through a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” — arguably the quietest cover of that song ever performed live — that the festival’s technical crew began to mess with the sound. Though it didn’t change too much, it was slightly louder on both sides of the stage. Despite the grumblings of low volume, fans still danced and sang along.

As with 311, Weezer’s set included the big hits: “Buddy Holly,” “Pork and Beans,” “El Scorcho” and “Undone — The Sweater Song” along with fresh cuts like “The Good Life,” “All My Favorite Songs” “Feels Like Summer” and the brand new “A Little Bit of Love,” which the band dropped back in March.

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