Absolute mayhem ignited concert-goers at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles last Friday night. Who were the culprits? Of Mice & Men and Nothing More.
Every band seems to have a song they like playing for the crowd before they even go on stage. This song is typically very well known and more likely than not, “Chop Suey” by System of a Down. Instead of choosing a highly overplayed song, OM&M played “Psychosocial” by Slipknot which really amped up the crowd.
Of Mice & Men is a band that I will see every single time they come to town. They’re that good. The amount of energy from the band and from the crowd was shockingly intense for the entire set. Multiple circle pits formed in the pit as Aaron Pauley sang, screamed and played the bass for the crowd.
Hands and devil horns waved as bodies surfed above the sea of people. After two phenomenal songs off of their newest album ‘Defy’, Of Mice & Men okayed their new song, “How To Survive” and the crowd went ballistic. Then they played “O.G. Loko” (which hasn’t been played live in years) and I went ballistic.
Song after song the energy stayed high as fans cheered and sang along with Aaron. Their hit song “Would You Still Be There” was played next followed by bangers “Unbreakable” and “Instincts.” With the amount of changes Of Mice & Men has had over the years, you can never expect your favorite songs to be played the same way you’re used to listening to them. That being said, Aaron did a fantastic job performing “O.G. Loko” as well as “Would You Still Be There” and “You Make Me Sick.” Honestly, the energy was so high, Of Mice & Men could have easily headlined the show.
The energy only skyrocketed after Of Mice & Men’s performance as Nothing More finished off the night. A massive white curtain rose in front of the stage, blocking the view from the crowd as the crew began setting up Slipknot-esque contraptions on stage. A shadowed figure walked center stage and sprayed Nothing More’s symbol on the white curtain as an emergency siren echoed through the venue. The crowd roared as the curtain dropped and Johnny Hawkins kicked off the song “Let ‘em Burn” while standing atop a large industrial ladder affixed to a few separate drums for him to play.
Painted half black, a shirtless Johnny danced and sang around the stage as the crowd went wild. I was disappointed when the large ladder contraption was removed after the first song, as it was a very cool and unique set piece. Hawkins and the rest of Nothing More put on an excellent and highly energetic show. They were constantly moving around, dancing, jumping, and singing with the crowd who was matching their energy levels. The energy stayed consistently high as Nothing More entertained the crowd with some of their hit songs like “Do You Really Want It, Jenny, Go To War, and Fade In / Fade Out.” At the end of their set, Nothing More played “First of the Year” by Skrillex followed by “We Will Rock You” by Queen, concluding the show with their song “Salem (Burn The Witch).” The exhausted crowd adorned with bands of merchandise slowly stumbled out into the LA streets searching for the nearest taco truck to wrap up the night.