It was party time Friday night at Sam’s Burger Joint, with the guests of honor San Antonio’s Nothing More — and an intimate group of approximately 300 rocking friends.
Celebrating the recent release of their self-titled 17-song second full-length album, Nothing More put on a solid 75-minute performance that rocked the faces off long-time fans of a band that has existed for a decade, plus newbies who may have been witnessing the group for the first time.
After The Last Place You Look out of Houston and Sounds Under Radio from Austin warmed things up, Nothing More took the stage with guitarist Mark Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver and drummer Paul OBrien throwing down the rhythm section while barefoot singer Jonny Hawkins did a few sit-ups.
That’s right. Sit-ups.
If you were one of the folks who had not seen Nothing More live before, trust the fact that on-stage exercising didn’t touch the surface as far as unconventionality was concerned. Veteran enthusiasts of watching Nothing More in concert know the band’s musical theatrics are what make the group unique.
Those acts involve Hawkins punishing a huge drum set up in the center of the stage on a few songs in conjunction with OBrien’s rhythm behind the regular kit. Toward the end, Vollelunga and Oliver join in while banging their own hardware simultaneously. And let’s not forget the tapping of the bass the three up-front members team up for — that is, when the instrument isn’t swiveling.
Yet as entertaining as those acts are, it all boils down to the music. Offerings from 2010 debut album The Few Not Fleeting, including Friday’s performances of Gone, Salem and Fat Kid, are what helped Nothing More land a slot opening nationally for Adrenaline Mob in the spring, which included a March 23 show at Backstage Live. It also has them set to play the Aftershock Festival on Sept. 14 in Sacramento, Calif., with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Otherwise, All That Remains, Volbeat, Korn, and Shinedown.
But even with the fun in store at Sam’s, and the release of the new record that included live takes of Sex & Lies, Christ Copyright and Ballast, Hawkins didn’t shy away from sharing just how stressful the band felt leading up to the show when he referred to the hometown gig as one of the most “nerve-wracking” the band had done.
Not to worry. The show went off without a hitch. And after The Last Place You Look’s 35-minute set and Sounds Under Radio’s 45-minute performance, all three bands joined forces on one of Nothing More’s new tracks (see slideshow at top), genuinely showing how much they enjoyed touring together. Tidbit of the night: Nothing More’s Oliver and Sounds Under Radio bassist/keyboardist Bradley Oliver are brothers.
Here’s hoping Nothing More will find its way back to bigger venues in the Alamo City as the summer concert season heats up. And that their support-band friends can turn more San Antonians on to their music, too.
Now that the anxiety has passed, perhaps Nothing More can continue to celebrate a big moment in its history — while keeping the stellar music coming.
For previous San Antonio Metal Music Examiner coverage of Nothing More, and related stories, click the “Suggested” links in blue below.
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