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Nothing More – The ɥʇnɹʇ Tour

Posted on March 08, 2019

Nothing More at the House of Blues

Joshua LinesBen Anderson, Jonny Hawkins, Daniel Oliver – Nothing More

On March 3rd, 2019, Nothing More, with support from Of Mice & Men and Palisades, came through Chicago and performed a sold-out show at the House of Blues. Founded in 2003 as a funk band, Nothing More hails from San Antonio, Texas. Currently signed with Eleven Seven Music Group, the band found success after their then longtime drummer, Jonny Hawkins, decided to become their frontman. In doing so, he brought a new hard/alternative rock style and energy, that would help the band break into the mainstream rock world with their releases, 2009’s ‘The Few Not Fleeting‘, 2014’s ‘Nothing More‘.

Their latest effort, 2017’s ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves‘, has helped them reach new heights, as it garnered Grammy nominations for ‘Best Rock Performance’, ‘Best Rock Song’, and ‘Best Rock Album’. However, what people know them best for is their absolutely electrifying live shows that were once described as “twisted, rock ‘n roll adaptation of Blue Man Group.” Needless, to say, I was pretty excited to be able to finally check these guys out.


Lou Miceli - Palisades

Joshua LinesLou Miceli – Palisades

Palisades took the stage first, and under dim red lights, they ripped through their opener “War”. They brought their post-hardcore energy with riffage and grooves that begged for you to bang your head. Combine the electronic sounds and the heavy noise, this was one performance that was begging for you to just get crazy in the pit.

Personally, I enjoyed how their sound was very reminiscent of The Deftones. They were able to create a very familiar sound while also standing on their own, and not being derivative of what came before.

Stand out moment for me was when they busted into a cover of Linkin Park‘s “One Step Closer”. Vocalist Lou Miceli and bassist Brandon Elgar completely captured the spirit of this song and it felt like a worthy tribute to the late Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington.

From the shredding from lead and rhythm guitarists Xavier Adames and Matthew Marshall, respectively, to the explosive drumming of Aaron Rosa, this was the perfect way to start the evening.

Palisades Setlist

Brandon Elgar - Palisades

Joshua LinesBrandon Elgar – Palisades

Palisades Setlist

  1. War

  2. Shed My Skin

  3. Better Chemicals

  4. Aggression

  5. One Step Closer [Cover of Linkin Park]

  6. Ways to Disappear

  7. Vendetta

  8. Let Down

  9. Erase the Pain

Of Mice & Men

Aaron Pauley - Of Mice & Men

Joshua LinesAaron Pauley – Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men were up next. These guys were very much here for business, as guitarists Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby wasted no time getting into “Warzone”. These guys were all smiles and headbangs as they went through their set. This was my first time seeing Of Mice & Men with vocalist Aaron Pauley, and I do have to say that I am definitely a fan.

I was skeptical at first when it was announced that he would be fronting the band, especially when it would come to performing older material. Of Mice & Men has, up until he took over, relied on him to do clean vocals. And I’ll be honest, I still do prefer Austin Carlile‘s vocals. This is by no means a slight to Aaron, as the way he makes the old material form to him is rather impressive.

At the end of the day, while people will compare Aaron to Austin, one thing is clear. Of Mice & Men kick-ass, regardless of who is on vocals. Their performances of, “Pain” and “O.G. Loko” make this fact very clear. Solidifying this was their performance of their latest single, “How to Survive”, which very clearly shows that there is way more to come. And I, for one, look forward to it.

Also, completely unrelated to their performance, but every single time I looked over to drummer Tino Arteaga, he had this big grin on his face. I really enjoy little things like that in performers.

Of Mice & Men Setlist

Alan Ashby - Of Mice & Men

Joshua LinesAlan Ashby – Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men Setlist

  1. Warzone

  2. Defy

  3. Would You Still Be There

  4. How to Survive

  5. O.G. Loko

  6. Unbreakable

  7. Instincts

  8. Pain

  9. You Make Me Sick

Nothing More

Mark Vollelunga, Jonny Hawkins - Nothing More

Joshua LinesMark Vollelunga, Jonny Hawkins – Nothing More

If I had to describe Nothing More’s live performance in one word, I would choose authentic. Everything about this performance screamed of authenticity, from the stage presence of the band members, to the lyrics of the songs, to the energy given to and from the audience. From the truly heart-wrenching performances of emotional tracks “Jenny” and “Fade In/Fade Out” to vocalist Jonny Hawkins declaring: “We don’t do encores because one: they’re fake. And two: they’re f*cking fake!”, the energy and emotions were absolutely infectious.

Once the show started with “Let ’em Burn” the crowd was ready. It felt as if the Earth was shaking, as the audience jumped, moshed, shoved, and clambered around to the killer of an opener. The sensation would eventually cease, only for a brief moment, just until “Christ Copyright” began. This would prove to be the trend for the evening as the band just poured themselves into the show, feeding off the energy of the room.

The only real time that the room became still, was right before the intro to “Jenny” and during “Fade In/Fade Out”. Both of these songs are deeply personal to the band as both deal with issues close to the members, namely mental health and loss of a loved one. It was in these moments that if somehow, you were skeptical that these guys weren’t giving it all, you’d be proven wrong. These two songs were easily the highlights for me, as the two just show off the band’s range and just sheer ability to pull you into their lives. If you have heard neither, I cannot recommend the two enough.

Possibly the most unique aspect of Nothing More’s live show is their onstage contraption, dubbed ‘The Scorpion Tail’. It’s a 14-foot-tall machine that Jonny climbs on, and then, using software built into the machine, manipulates his voice, the guitar, and the bass. As if it wasn’t enough, the machine thrashes about, like one messed up mechanical bull. Using this, the band did a most unlikely, yet bizarrely awesome mashup of Skrillex‘s “First of the Year (Equinox)” and Queen‘s “We Will Rock You”. Even thinking about it now, this really shouldn’t have worked, but it somehow did.

The night culminated with the finale, “Salem (Burn the Witch)”. The band gave everything in this final song, and you could feel it. At one point, every member grabbed a drum tom and began to take part in one large drum solo. The choreography between the members and just how fluid they all played was just unbelievable. The crowd just completely ate it up, as they all cheered wildly and shouted along: “Burn the witch!”

By the time the show was over, you could tell that Nothing More had brought everything they had to Chicago. They had put on possibly one of the greatest live shows that I have seen, one that was just so full of passion and authenticity. I cannot stress this enough – If you have the chance to see Nothing More live, you need to do it. These guys are the real deal, leaving nothing behind, but a performance that you will never forget.

Nothing More Setlist

Jonny Hawkins and The Scorpion Tail - Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins and The Scorpion Tail – Nothing More

Nothing More Setlist

  1. Convict/Divide

  2. Let ‘em Burn

  3. Christ Copyright

  4. Don’t Stop

  5. Funny Little Creatures

  6. Go to War

  7. Do You Really Want It?

  8. React/Respond

  9. The Great Divorce

  10. Still in Love

  11. Mr. MTV

  12. Jenny

  13. Tunnels

  14. Fade In/Fade Out

  15. Ocean Floor

  16. This Is the Time (Ballast)

  17. First of the Year (Equinox) [Cover of Skrillex]

  18. We Will Rock You [Cover of Queen]

  19. Salem (Burn the Witch)

Brandon Elgar - Palisades

Brandon Elgar – Palisades

Xavier Adames - Palisades

Xavier Adames – Palisades

Lou Miceli, Palisades

Lou Miceli – Palisades

Aaron Rosa

Aaron Rosa – Palisades


Valentino “Tino” Arteaga – Of Mice & Men

Alan Ashby

Alan Ashby – Of Mice & Men

Alan Ashby and Aaron Pauley

Alan Ashby, Aaron Pauey – Of Mice & Men

Alan Ashby

Alan Ashby – Of Mice & Men

Alan Ashby

Alan Ashby – Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men

Phil Manasala – Of Mice & Men



Jonny Hawkins - Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins – Nothing More

Daniel Oliver - Nothing More

Daniel Oliver – Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins - Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins – Nothing More

Daniel Oliver - Nothing More

Daniel Oliver – Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins - Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins – Nothing More

Mark Vollelunga

Mark Vollelunga – Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins - Nothing More

Jonny Hawkins – Nothing More Joshua Lines

Nothing More

Nothing More

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