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Concert review: Nothing More electrifies Express Live

Nothing More showed Columbus nothing less than a great time at Express Live Wednesday night. From hit to hit, new and old, Nothing More displayed its creativity.

Active since 2003, Nothing More is a four-piece rock band hailing from San Antonio, Texas. Success from its self-titled album led to the 2017 release of “The Stories We Tell Ourselves.”

After a lengthy wait, Nothing More members walked on stage one by one. Pyrotechnics blazing and lights flashing, the group opened with “Christ Copyright,” and its sound was absolutely phenomenal –– immediately exciting me.

A quarter through its setlist, Nothing More performed “Don’t Stop.” Lead singer Jonny Hawkins flaunted his range in front of the crowd. With bass drops, heavy guitar riffs and powerful drums, the music felt electric.

Mid-way through the show, three members of the band crowded around one guitar. Each member played a different part of the guitar, in what was perhaps the most ridiculously cool interlude I’ve ever seen in a show.

Following the interlude, they sobered up the crowd with the emotional “Just Say When,” and fans swayed lighters and flashlights in the air throughout the entire song, bringing a nice change of pace to the show.

However, the crowd’s relaxation was short lived, as Nothing More performed arguably its heaviest song, “This is the time.” Everyone in the crowd jumped up and down and I couldn’t help but enjoy myself. I was lifting strangers left and right to help them crowd surf their way to the front.

Nothing More closed the show with an amazing cover of Skrillex’s “First Of The Year.” Using stringed instruments and live drums to cover an EDM Skrillex song may be one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever seen live. I was completely impressed.

Indianapolis progressive metal group, The Contortionist, opened up the night. The Columbus crowd immediately felt their presence. The bass, the drums, the guitar –– the tones were all so heavy.

The Contortionist’s set primarily featured tracks from its newest album “Clairvoyant.” A striking theme to the group’s work is how melodic it is. Unfortunately, the sound technician did not do the band any justice, as the guitars were almost inaudible at some points. The drummer and bassist were not mixed well, which led to them overpowering the other band members. However, frontman Michael Lessard kept my attention with his singing talent.

A clear cut highlight from opening the set was the performance of “Return to Earth.” Columbus fans were familiar with the track and it was well-received, despite it being semi-inaudible.

Although the opener’s sound wasn’t top notch, Nothing More made up for it –– and then some. The band’s performance was outstanding. From the top to the bottom of the setlist, I was completely drawn to Nothing More, and I would highly recommend seeing the band live. I won’t forget last night’s performance –– Nothing More showed Columbus love, and we were grateful.

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