GIG REVIEW: An Evening With NOTHING MORE at St. Andrews Hall, Detroit
After taking a year and a half off to work on their new album, Nothing More is currently on a headlining tour in support of the recently released ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’. It was definitely worth the wait, as I feel it is one of the best releases to hit the scene in recent years. Friday night is always a good night for a rock show, and accompanying Nothing More on this night were Hell or Highwater, Palisades, and My Ticket Home.
Hell or Highwater performed a high energy set that fully engaged the crowd in sing alongs and interaction with lead singer Brandon Saller. Palisades, out of New Jersey, kept the energy high as they took to the stage next. Touring in support of their recent self titled album, they’re currently enjoying a heavy rotation on Sirius XM which was evident as the crowd in attendance sang along word for word with their current hit, “Let Down”. My Ticket Home, out of Columbus, OH, closed out the opening act duties with an energetic metalcore/alternative set.
The lights dimmed, the crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of the pride of San Antonio, TX, Nothing More. Ben Anderson ( drums ), Mark Vollelunga ( guitar ), and Daniel Oliver ( bass ) took their spots on stage, and as the opening notes of “Christ Copyright” filled the room, vocalist Jonny Hawkins made his entrance, like only he can. Wearing his usual attire, barefoot and shirtless, Hawkins hit his stride, drumming, climbing, jumping , anything in his path, much to the delight of the capacity crowd. Earlier in the evening he explained the reasoning behind his stage attire. As a child, his grandmother always called him a dreamer, with his head in the clouds. She suggested he go barefoot, in order to connect with the earth and stay grounded, and he’s done so ever since. On stage he said he feels a primal energy, in a way, and going shoeless and shirtless just feels like the appropriate “uniform” to deliver his message.
A favourite moment on this night was an acoustic rendition of “Just Say When”, featuring just Mark and Jonny. Stripped down to bare bones, it was really something to behold, Also something that you don’t want to miss is the Scorpion Tail that makes it’s appearance near the end of the set. Daniel makes all of the stage props that you see, making the stage look like something out of a Mad Max movie, but also something else that sets Nothing More apart from everyone else.
Considering the time the band has been off the road, there certainly wasn’t any ring rust to knock off. Plowing through all the old favourites like “Mr. MTV”, “Jenny”, and “This Is The Time (Ballast)”, as well as adding plenty of material from the new album including “Let ‘Em Burn”, “Don’t Stop”, and “Go To War” these Texas boys showed they have no intention of slowing down any time soon. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them plenty of times in the past, in every situation from small/ medium headlining shows, festival appearances on both side and main stages, as well as arena tour openers, and I must say that they are constantly upping the ante and getting better and better each time. Be sure to catch them any time they are in your area, you’ll be glad you did.