To almost no one’s surprise at this point in winter this year, Minnesota started off March with another snowstorm, which made me honestly want to skip this month entirely. However, knowing that there are a ton of great shows this month, including the promise of a killer sold out show headlined by Nothing More. As I made the trek across the cities into downtown Minneapolis, the excitement of catching a show reignited my desire to be out of my house and I was happy to be back at the Skyway Theatre, even if I was in the midst of a sold out crowd.
First up was Palisades, a five piece metalcore band that came out on stage with a bang. With never seeing this band live before and only listening to their music here and there, I definitely was not expecting the fire that they brought to the venue. Set up relatively close to the edge of the stage, the band tore up the small space they had with hard hitting guitars and drums, and the perfect intertwining of singing and screaming. This band is rumored to make a trip back to the cities in a few months and if that rumor turns out to be true, I know I’ll be catching their set again
Next up we’re up and coming rock band Badflower, taking the stage shortly after 7:20. I thought Palisades had the crowd going, but Badflower has the crowd hooked with every note that emitted from the stage. For playing a short set, the band really did take hold of the crowd, making it almost feel like they were the headliner. It felt as thought a majority of the crowd were singing along to every song, and for only knowing their radio hit “Ghost,” I definitely felt out of place in that respect. The band even posed a teaser question of if anyone would see them play if they came back to the cities and the entire crowd erupted into one loud, unanimous cheer. With that level of response from the crowd, Badflower definitely set the bar high for the rest of the night.
Of Mice & Men took the stage promptly at 8:15 next to a packed room at Skyway. The last time I saw this band was last winter when their headlining tour stopped at Music Hall Minneapolis. The difference that year has made in their live performance for me was noticeably better; frontman Aaron Pauly felt more commanding, the overall sound was more polished, and the band looked at home on stage. While not diving too deep into their catalog, the band owners heir newer material. Of Mice & Men kept the momentum set by Badflower, even stopping during “O. G. Loko” to get the crowd into a wall of death. The band finally felt to me as thought they hit their groove as a four piece.
Finally, headliners Nothing More took the stage. Walking out behind a white canvas, lead singer Jonny Hawkins riled the crowd up and as the canvas dropped the start of an entertaining set of full of energetic stage antics began. Hawkins was all over the stage, full of a fiery energy that outshone every part of the show thus far. Guitarists Mike Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver, and drummer Ben Anderson nearly matched Hawkins in their cathartic and energetic performance. Most of my time during their set was watching in amazement at the excellent performance Nothing More put on. Every song seemed to outdo the last and the crowd was definitely more than okay being along for the ride as well; there was barely a quiet moment during this set and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This was my first live experience of Nothing More and I can definitely say it will not be my last.