Roundhouse’s main room is a sea Halestorm t-shirts. It’s as if the floodgates had been opened and Londons rock lovers had been let loose to bring the venue to bursting point. The atmosphere upon arrival was one that was gearing up for a night of top-notch rock and roll. No one was due to be disappointed. With the hunger for the night in store grew amongst the crowd, Nothing More hit the stage with style from the off and kicking off in the thrashy and bass heavy fashion that they would maintain throughout their set.
Starting off with a full band playing, vocalist Jonny Hawkins brought the force by supplementing the already beefy sound with additional drums front and center. This wasn’t the only additional instrument showmanship. The whole set was dialed up to 11 when bassist; Daniel Oliver, mounted his bass onto a 45 degree angled pendulum and began tapping away on the fret board like a madman almost as if it were a keyboard. Cool you might think… in fact that was just for starters. Second up came guitarist Mark Vollelunga adding his own tapping flair to the bass whilst Danny swept the strings and added bends to great effect, although this is still only a taster as Jonny came in soon after to create a trio all playing the bass in various ways for various effects simultaneously. Needless to say, the crowd were loving every second and as every musician joined, some of the loudest cheers of the night shook the room.
Crowd favourites were played and received incredibly well for a support act, although it did take the band a while to warm to the audience and feel like they were interacting more naturally rather than something stiff and scripted which was how it felt for the first few tracks.
To end the set, the guys finished up on a whole band drum instrumental track. Every member going whole hog in their own areas of the stage with their own heavy sounding toms making for a powerful outro. As the lights dimmed and the guys headed out back for a well deserved rest the atmosphere was electric as everyone knew what was soon to come.
After the seemingly long change over the moment that the crowd had been waiting for finally arrived as the stage went dark. The anticipation was too much and the crowd began to repeatedly chant “Halestorm” over and over until finally the band stepped onto the stage to be embraced by an enormous roar of cheers.
The introduction was brief, the usual hype building before diving straight into Mrs Hyde; kicking off with a crowd favourite, Lzzy’s voice didn’t fail to impress. From the first note she hit you knew you were in for a hell of a show. The raw power of her voice combined with the chunky sounding guitars with a bit of bite and Paul going all out on the drum kit, they had the presence of a bear; wild, powerful and a force to be reckoned with in the world of rock.
Halestorm’s mid-show break rivaled Nothing More’s showmanship when Paul OBrien played a full ten minute drum-only small set of his own. Showing off his skills he couldn’t keep still. Jumping in the air whilst playing, climbing on his kit; also whilst playing, adding water for a splash display and finally finishing up by playing with jumbo metre or so long drumsticks whilst still being almost as quick and dexterous as he was with his usuals.
As the night started coming to a close the gang brought out the classics with ‘Love Bites’ followed up by ‘Miss The Misery’, which had a sped up tempo and some extra drum fills thrown in to close the set. That wasn’t enough for the crowd though, and so the guys; and Lzzy, came back to play a double encore and finishing the awesome night playing Here’s to us before leaving the roaring crowd behind them. All in all, it was a great night and most importantly both Nothing More and Halestorm put on great shows. They went above and beyond the call of duty by making their sets something that will leave you in awe, rather than just playing their tracks whilst having a good time; which is all well and good but paling in comparison to a true live show such as the ones these guys put on.
Written by: Josh Darko
Photo credit: Emma Dearie