Nothing More Concert Review Las Vegas HOB 10-14-2022
Nothing More Concert Review Las Vegas HOB 10-14-2022-Review and Live Photos By Roc Boyum
Nothing More are finally back out doing what they do best which is touring and releasing new music to the world. Touring in 2022 marks the first year that the band has toured since their last outing with Ghost in 2019 which seems like an eon ago and there’s no doubt that the world is a better place with NM is out touring. Today, 10-14-22 also marks the release of the long, long-awaited CD release of the new multi format and release of new music by NM, with, Spirits; which is a brilliant follow up to their highly acclaimed, The Stories We Tell Ourselves.
On this show, NW opened for the mystical goth metal band, In This Moment which makes this tour an unprecedented doubleheader of killer music, with additional support from Cherry Bombs and Sleep Token. Before the show, LA Metal Media Magazine and Allie Jorgensen caught up with the musical genius of NM guitarist Mark Vollelunga for an insightful interview about their Spirits LP, touring and much more, Check it out below!
The House of Blues in Las Vegas was completely sold out for this NM CD release party show with the band unleashing a blistering 11 song set that included four killer tracks from their just released Spirits LP with; “Turn It Up Like,” “Tired of Winning, ” “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE MEANS” and “Spirits.”
The anticipation for Nothing More was growing across the sold-out House of Blues venue as the packed crowd began to get more restless with every minute that passed before the band’s arrival. Then, in an instant, the lights went out, the opening monologue echoed throughout the venue that served to escalate the anticipation for the band. In an instant, a double flash of strobe lights revealed Hawkins, front and center of the stage as a single silhouetted figure who was belting out the vocal beginning to “Turn It Up Like (Stand In The Fire)” . The band remained mostly in the dark until the first chorus, at which time they hit the audience with an explosion of light and sound that created a dramatic and brilliant beginning to their show. “Turn it Up Like” was the perfect opener with its unapologetic message that pulls no punches with its reflection of the pent up feelings that were generated by two years of government lockdowns. To drive this message home further, Hawkins jumped up onto their Scorpion Tail and raised the machine to its highest elevation to boldy herald their message about taking control of your life and to not be led around by the nose by the government and internet that had us tied to our phones, tablets, and computers during the lockdown with nowhere else to go; talk about being controlled! This was exactly the kind of FN attitude that these fans needed to release two years of resentment that was born out of the lockdown isolation.
The band was tight as all hell, hotter than hell and Hawkin’s animalistic body paint was like a ritualistic work of art that further personified the band’s attitude.
The band then hit the HOB with a double punch from Stories with “Let’em Burn” and “Don’t Stop” that had the entire HOB audience engaged and singing along to each song like the world’s most insane choir ever. The vocal monologue in the middle of the song “Don’t Stop” came with a different set of lyrics and more attitude than the recorded version. Towards the end of the song, guitarist Vollelunga jumped into the photographer’s pit to get right up into the audience to dish out some brutal guitar riffs and to let the audience play a little guitar as well!
The band next rolled into“Tired Of Winning/Ships In The Night” from Spirits which live, came off much heavier than on disc – unleashing it’s raw and agressive sounding rhythmic groove in the verses which felt so thick and nasty that it had the entire audience bouncing to the pulsating vibe, so damn cool!
The Grammy nominated song, “Go To War” had the entire audience singing along from the very beginning of the song – with its message that most everyone can relate to in some capacity or another about a relationship that had eventually gone south. The backups that lead into the choruses with the words, “War, War, War ” rang throughout the entire venue like a defiant roar – and something that you don’t want to mess with – it exemplified the connection that the fans have with the song’s lyrics; Such a great song!
Hawkins introduced “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE MEANS” from the SPIRITS LP by imparting; We’d like to play some new music from our latest LP that just dropped today it’s called; “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE MEANS”. This is an anthem style ballad much like “Here’s to the Heartache” off their self titled LP but with a much greater compositional sophistication in the music and lyrics than it’s precedissor.
“YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE MEANS” has the expected soaring vocals, big choruses and waltzing style groove, what’s a bit unexpected is how the 6/4 groove changes back and forth from the swinging feel into a more steadfast 4/4 time which grabs the listner all the while maintaining a slight progressive edge; so damn cool.
Also worth mentioning in the song, is a 6/4 section in the song that drops in volume and then builds back up into the main chorus with drummer Ben Anderson starting this awesome building drum fill in 6/4 that moves from snare to tom toms with cymbal attacks and then down to the floor toms for the final cymbal crash that brings in the big chorus; great feel, great chops!
Another emerging fan favorite is the in-your-face rocker “Spirits” with some super cool vocal breaks and a 1/2 time section that gives way to an all-out pounding rocking groove that has everyone with their fists in the air and bouncing to the cadence of the driving pulse.
The next two songs “Jenny” and “Fade In/Fade Out” need no introduction and are two song that are a staple in the NM live experience. No matter how many times you see these songs live, the collective experience of the unified audience choir never loses its passion and is always an amazing thing to be a part of. These two songs are both emotionally charged about family members and anyone who has lost someone with their emotional stories that can resonate with the fans of these songs on a deep and profound level. The audience participation to the songs was way over the top for sure and the exchange between artist and audience is something that can only be truly appreciated through the live experience. Sure, you can watch these songs live on the internet or even at a large outdoor festival but it’s the intimate setting in venue like the HOB, where these messages really grab you in a way that cannot be fully conveyed – and you could never get the same feeling and chills down your spine – in the same way as physically participating with your brothers and sisters in a smaller venue. You will be hard pressed to find any other artist that can connect with the fans on this deep of an emotional level; it’s a must experience.
The final two songs of the night, “Ocean Floor” and “This is the Time” (Ballast) came with Hawkins jumping into the photographer’s pit to assault a set of tom toms that were supported by some crew members – just on the other side of the barricade. Hawkins gave the drums a beating that set the audience into an explosive frenzy and was most definitely leading up to a definitive conclusion for the night. The tom toms I believe lived to fight another night but the audience was completely spent after these songs and needed a long break to get rehydrated and recharge with their favorite alcohol beverage in order to be ready for the final act, ITM.
Nothing More are a live experience that one must absorb in the context of a packed concert venue like the HOB to fully take in everything that is this band – you will witness the mesmerizing energy, power and magic that truly is Nothing More and what this band has to offer, sonically and visually. Get out there and get into Nothing More, absorb the vibe, become part of the family, get Spirits and go down the Nothing More rabbit hole!