Nothing More Breaks Out

By on October 7, 2015

 

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Jonny Hawkins (Photo-Travis Failey)

Nothing More played in front of a packed house at the State Theatre in Saint Petersburg during its Monster Energy Outbreak Tour stop on Wednesday night.

Rocket Sports and Entertainment, specifically this author, has been following Nothing More since their sparsely attended appearance at Rockville in Jacksonville in 2013. That first show was unforgettable and it featured a combination of an enigmatic front man, Jonny Hawkins, who had “rock star” written all over him, and bandmates who have developed a sound all their own combined with memorable on-stage performances.

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Mark Vollelunga (Photo-Travis Failey)

Over the next two years, we have seen this band grow from an early-in-the-day festival band, to a tour headliner! In between they have opened for some of the biggest names in what I call “Rock” in Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown and have been limited in the number of songs that they could play.

Tonight at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg, they would be the headliner. This is great for two reasons: one, the guys in this band are some of the nicest guys in the industry, and they have worked for everything they have achieved, and two, that means an extended set list! No disrespect, but, I want to hear more live from Nothing More than “Ballast,” “Jenny,” “Mr. MTV,” and “Salem.” Yes, I mean songs like: “”If I Were,” “I’ll be OK,” and “First Punch.”

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Jonny Hawkins (Photo-Travis Failey)

Nothing More took the stage about 10 pm and played for the next 90 minutes and opened the show with the staple, “Christ Copyright,” then moved on to the SiriusXM hit, “Mr. MTV.” A mosh pit opened up during “Mr. MTV,” and I have to admit, this was the first time seeing a mosh pit at a Nothing More show. Yes, their music is heavy, but not a band that I would consider moshing to, ok, maybe crowd surfing?

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Daniel Oliver (Photo-Travis Failey)

It is hard to stay still during a Nothing More show as the band’s energy is straight up infectious and guitarist Mark Vollelunga and bassist Daniel Oliver interact with the crowd almost as much as Jonny.

They also brought their own amazing light kit which was a big upgrade from the house lights at the State Theatre. Next were two of my favorite songs, and ones I have never heard them play live, “I’ll be OK,” and “If I Were,” followed by, their latest hit, “Here’s to the Heartache.”

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Jonny Hawkins (Photo-Travis Failey)

While it was obvious to me that Jonny had issues with his voice, (under the weather?), what did come out of his mouth was pure perfection. Jonny asked for the crowd’s help during the show, and the Nothing More faithful did not disappoint. Also plaguing the show were technical/audio issues. The vocals, bass and the guitar kept coming in and out, but the guys handled it like seasoned veterans. They played it off perfectly, never showed any attitude and didn’t bitch about it once. I cannot tell you how many times bands have experienced technical/audio issues and they stomped their feet, called out the venue, and even walked off the stage, cutting the show short. Nothing More was having none of that.

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Mark Vollelunga & Daniel Oliver (Photo-Travis Failey)

After the next song “Surface Flames” Mark, Daniel, and Jonny broke out the “bassinator” and showed another generation of fans one of the most original bass solos anyone will ever see. Speaking of another generation of fans, the audience tonight was filled with a much younger crowd with kids attending their first show and young girls swooning over the band members, especially Jonny. Nothing More’s frontman is in impeccable shape, and he never stands still during a show. He also never wears a shirt or shoes on stage.

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Jonny Hawkins (Photo-Travis Failey)

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Daniel Oliver (Photo-Travis Failey)

Nothing More played their recent monster single, “Jenny,” and their breakout song, “This is the Time(Ballast)” prior to Jonny Hawkins flipping the script on the old encore cliché. Hawkins announced to the crowd that they weren’t going to leave the stage and come back and went right into “Salem.” It is such a great song to close with due to the bombastic drum line where all the members of Nothing More including new drummer Ben Anderson, perfectly perform choreographed savage drum beating and the crowd joins the band by screaming “Burn the Witch” during the chorus. Epic.

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Jonny Hawkins (Photo-Travis Failey)

Wednesday night with Nothing More at the State Theatre was a night to remember for the audience and for the band. They were finishing up their tour and are soon to get back to writing and then into their studio to record a new album. It will be then that Nothing More will complete the metamorphosis from caterpillar to the butterfly that we have witnessed taking place right before our eyes and ears.

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Mark Vollelunga (Photo-Travis Failey)

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Jonny Hawkins (Photo-Travis Failey)

 

 

Setlist :

Christ Copyright

Mr. MTV

First Punch

Gyre

The Matthew Effect

I’ll be OK

Here’s to the Heartache

If I Were

Friendly Fire

Sex & Lies

Surface Flames

Bassinator solo

Take a Bullet

Jenny

This is the Time (Ballast)

Salem

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