Featured on the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, the stacked 4-band line up including Separations, Turbowolf, The Color Morale, and headliners, Nothing More stopped by Hooligan’s in Jacksonville, NC last Thursday night for an energetic and intimate show. Nothing More have made a name for themselves over the past couple years, with their first single “This is the Time (Ballast)” making it big on rock radio, followed by “Mr. MTV” and their latest single “Jenny”, sparking an open conversation about mental illness with the #iknowJenny campaign.
Listening to their albums, it is clear that Nothing More’s music holds a special meaning and is very personal to each member of the band. This can clearly be seen in their live performance. After some short and sweet sets from the openers, Nothing More burst out onto the stage and opened with the highly energetic “Christ Copyright.” Frontman Jonny Hawkins explored every inch of the stage, never standing in one spot for more than a second. Something unique to this band is that the drums play a huge part in their live show. Of course, their new drummer Ben Anderson has his drum kit set up, but Hawkins has quite the decorated drum himself, adding intensity and uncontained energy to the songs. Bassist Daniel Oliver and guitarist Mark Vollelunga hold their own as well, interacting with the crowd and running from one side of the stage to the other.
The live setlist was very much influenced by the latest self-titled album with the band playing tracks including “First Punch”, “The Matthew Effect”, “If I Were”, “Take a Bullet”, “Here’s to the Heartache”, and “Sex & Lies”. They slowed down a bit with “I’ll Be OK”, sending chills through the crowd as the song built. The band introduced the song by sharing that it was written during a bad time in their lives and the emotion of the track was cleary demonstrated in the performance.
In addition to the songs from the album, Nothing More’s live performance is highlighted by a bass solo from Oliver, Vollelunga, and Hawkins. A bass is placed upon a stand on Hawkin’s drum and the three rock out, allowing the crowd experience something that they’ve probably never seen before in a live show. The band also made it know that they do not believe in encores, explaining that encores now don’t really mean the same as they did before, when bands came out spontaneously and played more songs rather than it actually being part of the set. With that being said, the band played straight through their entire set with no pause for an encore, closing out their set with “This is the Time (Ballast)” and “Salem (Burn the Witch)”, the only song played from their previous album The Few Not Fleeting. Leaving it all out on stage, the band incorporated a drum routine in the middle of “Salem” which again, is something that rock fans don’t typically get to see at just any rock show.
Nothing More is a band that a fan can’t just experience through an album—they are the definition of a live band. Words can try to explain what goes on during their shows, but will certainly not do it any justice. Taking moments during the show to catch their breath, fans in the audience know that the band is putting everything they have out onto the stage to create an experience that they will remember forever. This is the last headlining tour the band will be doing before they go into the studio to write another record, but if you didn’t have a chance to catch them on the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, there is still a chance to see them play as support for Breaking Benjamin and Shinedown in select cities. Be sure to be on the lookout for them and definitely take some time to see this band live!