Tons of new bands surface every year, but what does it really take to stand out above the rest? San Antonio native rockers Nothing More seem to have found a winning combo. In just a short year, they've gone from opening on tour with Chevelle, to playing national festivals, and now they're making their way around the country playing their own headline shows. Earlier this week, they brought the show to Amos' Southend in Charlotte, North Carolina. Despite being a busy Tuesday night, with Motley Crue down the road at the PNC Music Pavilion and 3 Doors Down also in town for an acoustic show at The Fillmore, Nothing More managed to pack in a decent sized crowd.
When Nothing More hit up The Fillmore back in April opening for Chevelle, they piqued the crowd's interest. But it was the next month at Carolina Rebellion when they really racked up the attention and new supporters. Charlotte based media outlet Creative Loafing even named them the "Best New Band," and it's hard to argue with. Nothing More signed with Eleven Seven Music Group back in March, and released their (by that time) highly anticipated self-titled album in June. The first single off the album "This Is the Time (Ballast)" dropped worldwide on March 10 and after spending weeks towards the top of active rock charts, it claimed the number one spot just the day before the show at Amos'.
Jonny Hawkins easily captivates crowds from the first note that comes out of his mouth. A large steampunk style drum sits near center stage, and Jonny stands atop it belting out vocals somewhat reminiscent of Coheed and Cambria. He melodically sings the verse lyrics, then screams so intensely you can feel the vibrations course through your own body. He spins around energetically and leaps backward off the drum, barefoot all the while.
The attention then turns to bassist Daniel Oliver, who sets up his bass guitar on an object appropriately deemed "The Bassinator." The metal construction matches the steampunk drum and allows Daniel to pluck diligently away at each string of the bass. Guitarist Mark Vollelunga then joins him, and a few moments later Jonny appears, wielding drumsticks. The three of them perform a bass solo that is completely unparalleled and uniquely their own - this is the moment the audience really realizes that Nothing More has taken every day music, shaken it up and made it stand out from everything else.
Amazingly, the surprises don't end there. Paul O'Brien intensely pounds away at his own giant drum kit, holding down the heartbeat of the band, but every member joins him for a full band drum solo. Jonny stands behind the giant drum in front, while Mark and Daniel pull in upright drums from each side of the stage. The entire solo seems choreographed, as everyone spins the drums around and hammers away completely in sync.
Stage presence aside, nearly every song is made up of brilliant, thought provoking lyrics. It's blatantly obvious that Nothing More pours every bit of passion into the music they're creating, and rock fans notice and appreciate the divergence from typical and petty radio mainstream songs.
Nothing More will be on their headline tour with Sleepwave through early September. They'll be performing at yet another major festival - Aftershock - and then set back out on the road touring with Hellyeah, Volbeat and Five Finger Death Punch.