Nothing More came to the Fillmore Philadelphia with three spectacular openers whom all absolutely killed the show. Palisades, a post-hardcore band from Iselin, New Jersey; Badflower, an up and coming Los Angeles band you should tune your ears to; Of Mice And Men, a classic for 90s metal/punk kids.
In the headlining slot, Nothing More made a dramatic entrance. As it came time for them to play, the crowd grew more and more curious as to what was happening on stage. You see, a large white tarp was put up, only a slightly transparent, and it covering the entire view of the stage. The anticipation grew and the first note came, the crowd cheered, but had no idea what was to come. The word “truth” started to flash on the tarp upside down and backwards, and then a silhouette of what I imagine was Johnny Hawkins, the frontman, being either shadowed or projected on the tarp appeared and started to move.
The tarp went down and Johnny Hawkins stood on this long unsteady ladder, flailing on stage painted half black with three red stripes on his right shoulder. This paint job is reminiscing of the cover art of their last album, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, in which there is a cartooned white figure centered on a red backdrop with black bands covering the eyes. (This imagery was also placed as the backdrop to the set.)
The set also had an odd trash pile/drum set thing, as depicted above, used for climbing, playing, and just about anything they could think of. This can likely be attributed to Hawkins originally being the band’s drummer and then switching to being the frontman/lead vocals. His drumming passion still has a huge influence on his stage presence, and the tour in general, and he found new and innovated ways to play percussions on stage and still being in the spotlight. He did this with the odd trash pile drum set kit, handheld precautionary items, and closer to the end of the show there were even two drum fixtures and he and a guest played the drums loudly energizing the song. No matter what was being done on stage he was always elctifying and full of energy.
One feature to this show that made it stand out from others of the same genre, in addition to the innovative drumming technologies, was actually what was happening off stage. The mosh pit was by far the weirdest pit I’ve ever seen. It consisted of what I could only hope to affectionately title as a “dude bro love pit.” There was essentially one person circling the pit, and the majority of the occurrences were people spinning each other. A few smaller dudes tried to properly mosh by pushing and shoving, and the bigger dude bro orchestrating the pit, that didn’t know the new boys, simply picked one of the boys up and hugged then twirled him. Barley any pushing or shoving occured during the set, just twirls and hugs; many, many, hugs.
Some notes on the opening bands, since they were just as big a part of the show as the headliner:
Palisades is already signed and for active listeners of the punk/emo/rock/alt genres, you have probably heard them but simply just don’t recognize their name yet.
If you don’t, I’d highly recommend listening to them. (I recognized “Let Down” post-hearing it, but didn’t know I knew them, either.) They are the only band in a long time that I’ve seen fully engage a crowd and get them moving as the first opener. The show started early, too: 5:30 doors, 6:30 Palisades hit the stage, and people came there early. I assume it was to see them, because as a Fillmore regular, I have never seen it get this packed especially for the first opener of a four-band set.
Next up was Badflower, another band that I’d say you’ve probably heard of if you are in this scene…and if you are not, please listen. Their most notable song until now has been “Animal,” but on February 22nd, they released a new record called OKAY, IM SICK and it’s slower tempo songs, but oh so good. (It even debuted at number one on the iTunes alternative charts.)
Their album cover is absolutely stunning as well. It’s comprised of the light-skinned pale blond lead singer, Josh Katz, on a beautiful toned light blue background with the album title covering his eyes and bright vibrant red blood dripping down his bottom lip. It’s a beautiful photo, so clear, so crisp, great lighting, great post-processing, with great color combinations. So not only do they sound good, but also they look good, live and on paper.
The other opening band, Of Mice and Men, honestly could have been the headliner since a significant amount of fans came to see just them. Their growth to my generation started in the Warped Tour days of concert-going but the band has changed since then, as the old lead singer, Austin Carlile, left due to medical problems, but now the band continues on with the lead bassist playing bass and doing vocals for the band. He does a great job of representing the band and still has a great performance.
To see more photos from the show check out more photos below!
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