St. Petersburg, Fl. (April 2nd, 2023)
If there was ever a band that personifies energy and intensity it’s Nothing More. They are widely known as a band that puts every ounce of their being into each show. When the band released their latest album Spirits, everyone knew that a tour would soon follow, and this would be one of the hot tickets. When the tour finally managed to make it St. Petersburg, one look at the absolutely massive line stretching around Jannus Live that indeed this was THE ticket to get.
As showtime ran near, there wasn’t an ounce of free space in the entire venue. It seemed as though all of ST. Petersburg had shown up for this concert. When the stage lights finally came alive the crowd erupted in a cheer that could be felt as well as heard. They ran to their spots on stage and then lead singer Jonny Hawkins appeared. He had on pants, and his chest was adorned in body paint and that was it, which is typical for him. They kicked off the night with “Spirits” the title track of their latest album. As the first verse of the song is subdued, you could really hear Hawkins voice. He sounded great and his delivery was spot on. Once the song kicked into high gear, the energy in the venue was palpable. This was what everyone was waiting for. Hawkins was a veritable whirlwind on stage and his band mates poured their heart and souls into their instruments.
The band kept the pedal to the metal, continuing on with fan favorite “Do you Really Want It” and the wildly popular new hit single from Spirits “Tired Of Winning”. With everyone in the crowd singing along note for note, this was obviously more than a concert for most it became a cathartic event. As it has been a while since Nothing More had visited this region, their fans were in sheer joy soaking up the music the band was performing.
As Nothing More’s fans know, the band knows how to write a songs that tug at the heart strings and tonight the band didn’t disappoint in delivering some of their finest work. “You Don’t Know What Love Means” from Spirits is one of the first to be played. The band delivered this up-tempo ballad perfectly. The rhythm section of bassist Daniel Oliver and drummer Ben Anderson masterfully guide the song along while Hawkins delivers the lyrics earnestly and heart felt. “Jenny” the ode to his aunt Jenna and her battles with addiction and depression pulled out every ounce of emotion from the crowd. For every parent that was in the venue, this was a moment that everyone was waiting for. As Jonny Hawkins started the song, he stopped for a second and said to the audience laughingly “I forgot the lyrics help me out” of course that was the perfect excuse for the audience to fill in the blanks and turn a simple mistake into an indelible connection between the singer and the audience.
Indeed there were many moments of the show that were memorable. It seemed as though it didn’t matter what song they were playing; Jonny Hawkins intense delivery could cut through the thickest armor and connect with anyone in the venue. Unfortunately, the scorpion the multifaceted instrument that he plays had technical issues and he couldn’t play it, but he more than made up for that with one hell of a drum solo. At the beginning of “This Is The Time (Ballast)” Hawkins was sitting on the riser delivering the first verse quietly. When he was done, he jumped up and said to the audience “This is our last song. We are a band that does not do encore’s. We do our last song, and we do it f*cking right!” With that the band launched back into the song and every band member was clearly caught up in the energy of the moment. As the song came near its conclusion, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver and Jonn Hawkins all grabbed drumsticks and joined drummer Ben Anderson for the final beats of the song.
For most bands this would be a great finish, but Nothing More had to kick things up a few notches. Vollelunga, and Oliver grabbed the drums they played and hopped off the stage quickly followed by Hawkins, who tossed the drums into the crowd and followed along. Hawkins had lucky fans hold on to the drums while he steadied himself as best as he could with the crowd holding him up and he blasted out a fierce solo while the rest of the band finished out the song. If there was ever an epic ending to a concert this was it, and for those that got to witness it this will be one of the most memorable shows of their lives.
While it has been more than a hot minute since Nothing More’s last visit to the sunshine state, they more than made up for the missing time. As their latest effort Spirits made up a solid portion of the set, this new material fits perfectly alongside all their other stellar material and is a treat to hear live. This was one of those shows that even if you knew nothing of the band or the music you would leave the concert an instant fan and need to see the band again. For their fans though, this is simply a must attend show and worthy of traveling to catch them if need be.