Here I am, back at my home away from home. It’s a Saturday night, and there’s nothing better than seeing Nothing More at the Worcester Palladium along with bands Crown the Empire and Thousand Below. They are on their “Spirits 2023 Tour” for April and May.
Thousand Below started the night show with a half-hour set. They played mostly new songs like “Hell Finds You Everywhere,” “Venenosa,” and “Sabotage.” “Sinking Me” was their closing song—this was the first song I heard by Thousand Below, and it made me fall in love with the band. They give a killer performance live!
Texan emo band Crown the Empire was next on the lineup. I haven’t seen Crown The Empire in a few years, and it was nice to see them once again. Andy Leo brought the moves on stage, and the energy was infectious. They opened with their new song “Dogma” and played older cuts like “The Fallout” and “Machines.” It’s been fun watching the evolution of this band over the years. I remember finding them in my senior year of high school and following up with them every now and then when I need a dose of nostalgia. I can’t believe thirteen years have gone by for this group.
Grammy-nominated, Nothing More is more than a headlining act. Their presence on stage is something I can’t really describe; you need to be there to feel it. The band comes out to the instrumental of “The Sandman” while vocalist Johnny Hawkins walks on the stage barefoot, shirtless, and covered in red and gray paint. The details almost make him look injured, with a gaping scratch on both his rib cages.
The guys opened with their songs “SPIRITS” and “Do You Really Want It?.” The crowd went crazy and headbanged the whole night. During their set, there was a drum solo and a band jam while Johnny got up on his scorpion. For those who don’t know what the scorpion is, it’s this metal machine that Johnny goes on during the shows. He stands on a platform, and once it lifts up, he bangs on the drums attached to the scorpion while the rest of his band, drummer Ben Anderson, guitarist Mark Vollelunga and bassist Daniel Oliver all jam together and have fun on stage.
The setlist mostly consisted of songs off their newest release, SPIRITS, like “TIRED OF WINNING,” “SHIPS IN THE NIGHT,” “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS,” and “FACE IT.” During the song “Jenny,” the whole crowd was crooning along with Johnny, including myself. Toward the end, they played “Fade In/ Fade Out” which is a very close and emotional song to me. I was really close to my dad, and I lost him about three years ago, and that song was on repeat for weeks to help me get through those times.
Nothing More closed the night with their track “This is The Time (Ballast).” Johnny announced that they don’t believe in encores and then went out with a bang. The band definitely made their last song an encore-worthy performance and even went out to the barricades to play the last half of their song to the crowd.
The rest of the “SPIRITS Tour” is still in full effect, and they have many dates left. This tour is a don’t-miss-show. You need to see Nothing More live at least once, but then you’ll be hooked!