Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
The Admiral was the place to be Tuesday night (10/18) as San Antonio rockers Nothing More tore down the stage opening for In This Moment's "Blood 10th Anniversary" tour. Along for the ride were Sleep Token and the fire-breathing theater troupe Cherry Bombs. I don't believe it was a complete sell out but the place sure was packed with fans from all walks of life. From younger kids in their tweens to folks who probably saw Dio in their teens, it was a party for the ages.
With doors opening at 5:30 I had to hustle down to the Admiral, but luckily I found a parking spot right up the street. I'm on an incredible Admiral parking spot streak, let's hope that continues. As I made my way inside I was met with some opposition from the security team. "There's no photos tonight". Hm.... There's like six people I know who are going to be really bummed if that's the case. I pulled up my trusty email showing no photos for In This Moment, but Nothing More and the other acts were all approved. After a bit of run-around everything was sorted out and I was ready to go to work.
Shortly after I made my way to the front I was joined by Pam from Go Venue, Adam from Revenant Media, and my good buddy Brian from Slime & Grime. You may recognize Brian's work as he did a few articles for Stories from the Crowd a while back before reviving Slime & Grime.
The Cherry Bombs were up first and boy did they get things fired up, literally! These ladies did an awesome job waving giant fire wands, flying around on ropes, and grinding sparks all over the stage. They had an awesome backing soundtrack consisting of Spiritbox, Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, and Metallica, just to name a few. It was a visual feast that had everyone on their feet. The coolest part was we got to shoot the whole set since there were tons of costume changes. If you get the chance to check them out it's well worth the price of admission.
After the Cherry Bombs it was time to usher in the spooky vibes of Sleep Token. I had heard so much hype for this band leading up to the show. Everyone I talked to mentioned how awesome Sleep Token was going to be. The band stepped out to heavy fog (which made for a tough photo session), but I think with their all black noir style the photos came out pretty decent. They all had this grainy look which totally goes with the band's aesthetic.
Sleep Token is definitely doing something different. Being masked and cloaked in black is nothing new, but the way they approach rock/metal is unique. Their singer has a deep soulful voice rather than the typical screeching you might find with say a Slipknot or Lamb of God. With layered synths and deep pounding drums it was an orchestral swirl of metal and classic pop vocals. From what I've heard Sleep Token is taking the road of mystery when it comes to press and fan interactions. They apparently don't do interviews and their email is email@example.com, very spooky indeed! If I remember correctly the band didn't announce themselves or address the crowd at all during their performance. They just rocked the set and withdrew into the shadows. I could see this band being much bigger in the near future. With just a few lights and a backdrop they had the crowd raging so I can't wait to see what they do with a bigger stage and a large production budget. Keep an eye on these guys!
As I waited in the photo pit the crowd behind me grew increasingly louder. I know In This Moment was headlining but the Nothing More fans were out in full force. All across the rail the fans were going absolutely feral when Jonny and the boys came on stage. The band launched into "Turn It Up Like (Stand In The Fire)" the opening track from their brand new release Spirits which dropped on October 14. From the very first note the rail was literally shaking from all of the fans thrashing around and reaching forward hoping to grab a guitar pick or fist bump from the incredibly sultry Jonny Hawkins. This show was particularly notable because Jonny was pushing through an injury and had been previously relegated to a chair. After the first two songs he removed his hoodie to reveal a chest brace. I don't know the full story but the word is that he hurt his ribs doing some jiujitsu in the parking lot a few days earlier.
Talk about a professional rock star. The show must go on! Even with his injury Jonny gave it everything he had, even mounting his giant "Scorpion" a drum and synth contraption that towered over the stage. They say it's all been done before, but bands continue to find new ways to bring a cool visual component to their stage show. This was definitely something I'd never seen before. Jonny climbed up on this giant robot looking thing and wailed on the keys creating a synth wave that washed over the crowd. The crowd ate it up and so did I! Jonny looked effortlessly cool up there swinging around like a wild man.
Over the next 45 minutes Nothing More rocked the crowd with four cuts from their newest release Spirits, five songs from The Stories We Tell Ourselves, and two songs from their self-titled album. I think the biggest pop of crowd participation came when they pulled out what is arguably their most well known song "Jenny". From front to back the crowd was singing along loudly. You can tell "Jenny" has had a lot of longevity. All around, people at the bar or those hanging in the back scooted closer to the stage with excitement like "Ooh this is the song I know!". After Nothing More left the stage in shreds the crowd dissipated quite a bit. I saw many folks heading for the door and in passing conversation I heard a lot of "I've seen In This Moment before". The next time Nothing More comes through I think they could easily sell out the Waiting Room or have a pretty good showing at The Admiral. If you get the chance make sure to check out Nothing More's brand new album Spirits, now streaming on all platforms. If you can swing it hit up one of their shows, you're in for a good time!
Thanks so much to Nothing More and team for photo access. I had an awesome time.
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