Over the past few years, The Noise presents... have kicked off some incredible shows around the US, including Attila, Falling in Reverse, Pop Evil and more. This spring The Noise brought Nothing More, Of Mice & Men, Badflower, and Palisades cross-country to some of the hardest rock venues around. “The Truth Tour” rolled in Tampa at The Ritz Ybor on St. Patrick Day, and the fans were definitely ready to party.
The venue had mostly filled up when openers Palisades took the stage. Palisades, based out of New Jersey, released their latest album Erase the Pain in late December and are treating the crowds to tons of new material since the last time we saw the band on tour. With the stage back-lined for the following bands, Palisades had minimal room to move around, but still used their high-energy to get the packed crowd singing along and jumping around.
Vocalist Lou Miceli amped up the crowd, “I wanna see you all lose your minds for this song!” before the band kicked into “Vendetta” off Erase the Pain. One of the strongest highlights of their set, though, was before the fourth song “Aggression,” when Miceli asked everyone in the crowd to hold up their phone lights and lighters and dedicated the song to the victims of the shooting in New Zealand.
Speaking of new records, Badflower just released OK, I'M SICK, their debut studio album, at the end of February. Badflower have always been a blast to watch on stage, and the new material had fans singing along from the first song, “x ANA x.” While their seven song set may have left the fans begging for more, it was a great taste of the new record live including the album's lead single, “Ghost.”
“Ghost” brought an emotionally charged vibe to the room and had the entire audience cheering and screaming afterwards. Vocalist Josh Katz covered his heart with his hand, in awe of the passion the crowd expressed for the song. Badflower definitely has a knack for humor as well, flashing “BUY MERCH” behind them for split seconds throughout their set. Though Badflower has been opening shows for the past few years, I believe they are well on their way to bringing a headline tour to Florida.
Of Mice & Men are definitely the hardest band on this bill, and they wasted no time in kicking off with the brutal “Warzone” and leading right into “Defy” off their 2018 release of the same name. With the departure of Austin Carlisle back in 2016, Aaron Pauley has done an impeccable job picking up both the clean and gritty vocals of the older material. This was most notable during “Would You Still Be There” off of Restoring Force and it felt natural with Pauley handling both techniques.
The band stated late last year that they are working on new material that is going to be even heavier than Defy. In mid-February the band released a new song titled “How to Survive” which solidified that claim. “The Truth Tour” has been the debut of the song live and the band has to be stoked at the reception it's receiving. Fans have learned the lyrics and were pumping fists and starting pits throughout the song.“Tampa do you want some more?” Pauley shouted. “I said do you want some more Of Mice and Fucking Men?” The crowd erupted into cheers and Pauley shouted back, “take your fists and put ’em in the air.” The crowd did so to the set closer and fan-favorte, “You Make Me Sick.”
A white curtain draped the stage as fan's chanted “No-thing More! No-thing More!” The room went black and the tour’s stylized “ɥʇnɹʇ” logo was projected on the curtain as we saw the silhouette of Jonny Hawkins climb a ladder and set off an alarm. Ok back up, if any of this sound surprising to you, you may not have experienced a Nothing More show. So let's start from the top, Nothing More is a rock band from San Antonio, Texas. Oh and they are known for the crazy antics and mind-blowing engineering they bring to the stage.
“This is gonna be good,” is always something you hear before a Nothing More performance. “Have you seen them before? Oh you're in for a treat,” because everyone that has seen them knows, you do not walk away from a Nothing More show unimpressed. Hawkins actually began his career in Nothing More as the drummer, which he still brings into his performance in huge ways.
The band kicked into “Let em' Burn” and after Hawkins dropped down to the Drumtron (an industrial style steampunk drum kit designed by the band's bassist Dan Oliver) and pounded away the intro the “Christ Copyright.” At the end of “Go To War” Hawkins dropped to his knees on a riser and whispered for the crowd to be quiet. The audience settled and a hush moved across the room just as cryo jets set off on the stage and Hawkins screamed “Do You Really Want It!?” kicking into the song off of 2017's The Stories We Tell Ourselves.
In 2014 when “Jenny” was released, Nothing More partnered with To Write Love on Her Arms and numerous mental health programs. “Jenny” is a fan-favorite song that delves into mental illness and the struggles that come with it. When the crowd heard “a little sleep, a little slumber” they erupted into cheers and sang along with Hawkins. Continuing with their mission of awareness for mental health and addiction, Nothing More once again partnered with TWLOHA and is donating $1 from every ticket purchased on ‘The Truth Tour.” Despite their incredible stage display, that's what Nothing More is all about, getting through the hardships of life and doing it together.
Hawkins spent his time actually on the stage floor ( you know, not in the air, or climbing a machine) connecting with fans, hanging out on the barricade and getting up close and personal. He took fan's phones, recording the crowd, and singing to those singing along to him. Though he is generally on the move, hopping from one creation on stage to the next, he always finds those moments to connect with his fans.
Towards the end of the set the famed Scorpion Tail was finally brought to use, as Hawkins climbed to the top of the electronic synth masterpiece (once again from the master mind of Dan Oliver) and the band kicked into their traditional (and so so good) cover of Skrillex's “First of the Year (Equinox).” A new intercept, however, was the band weaved a cover of Queen's “We Will Rock You” into the mix and everyone was clapping, stomping, and singing along.
“We don’t believe in encores, they’re all fake anyway,” Hawkins exclaimed as the band kicked into the last song of the night, “Salem (Burn the Witch).” The night ended with every member of Nothing More beating on a drum closing out with a full band drum-solo.
Let 'em Burn / Christ Copyright / Don't Stop / Funny Little Creatures / Alone / Together / Go to War / Do You Really Want It? / React / Respond / The Great Divorce / Still in Love / Mr. MTV / Jenny / Tunnel / Fadein/Fadeout / Ocean Floor / This Is the Time (Ballast) / First of the Year (Equinox) (Skrillex cover) / We Will Rock You (Queen cover) / Salem (Burn the Witch)