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    Wage War, Nothing More, Veil of Maya & Sleep Theory The Norva, Norfolk, VA (USA) May 14, 2024

    Photos and review by Michael Spencer Photography

    Another rainy night, another sold out show, another great show offering for a Tuesday evening. The Norva is an indoor venue, so I knew I wouldn’t be working in the rain, but I did have empathy for the road crews loading equipment in in torrential downpours, but the show must go on, right?

    Tonight’s show was opened by Memphis, TN (USA) based Sleep Theory.  A relative newcomer in the music world, having started in 2019 as a duo before becoming a four-piece band in 2023. And by newcomer, I mean successful newcomer, as in, 500K views of your first song on Tik Tok.  They hit the stage and opened with Fallout, and the band, Cullen Moore on vocals, Paolo Vergara on bass, Daniel Pruitt on guitar and Ben Pruitt on drums have a metalcore sound with a definite Memphis blues influenced sound.  A perfect start to the night and a band you don’t want to miss when they come to a venue near you. Tonight, the played:

    1. Fallout
    2. Enough
    3. Paralyzed
    4. Gone or Staying
    5. Stuck in my Head
    6. Numb

    SLEEP THEORY

    Next up on the bill was Veil of Maya.  Veil of Maya was formed in Chicago, IL (USA) in 2004, and had a couple of personnel changes over the years, but has had the current lineup of Lukas Magyar on vocals, Marc Okubo on guitar, Danny Hauser on bass and on drums since 2010.  They have a metalcore sound while having started out as a deathcore outfit. They have 7 studio albums under their belt. The setlist for tonight included:

    1. Tokyo Chainsaw
    2. Artificial Dose
    3. Godhead
    4. Viscera
    5. Outrun
    6. Outsider
    7. Red Fur
    8. Mikasa

    VEIL OF MAYA

    Next up was a band I had managed to miss seeing live numerous times due to various reasons, and I have hated myself for it. Nothing More formed in 2003 in San Antonio, TX (USA) and didn’t have immediate success.  Lead vocalist Jonny Hawkins started out on drums when he formed the band with Mark Vollelunga on guitar, and Daniel Oliver on bass.  They had several vocalist changes in the early years before Jonny moved to the front of the stage but still didn’t have the right drummer behind him and this changed when Ben Anderson joined the band in 2015. Nothing More’s stage show is always changing and an epic experience, to the tune of “what is Jonny going to do next?” In past tours he has had an articulating drum set, a painted body and to quote Jonny in and interview with LA Music Blog in 2020, it’s “some sort of twisted, rock ‘n roll adaptation of Blue Man Group — if Blue Man Group ever opened for Rage Against the Machine.”  The crowd was aware of this and ready.  Lights go down after a trip down memory lane with a lot of 70s and 80s dance music during set change, and the band hits the stage to rousing applause and launch into If It Doesn’t Hurt off the forthcoming (June 28, 2024) LP Carnal. They followed this with Let EM Burn and then Don’t Stop, where Mark Vollelunga dropped down into the photo pit to get closer to the kids on the rail so they could be part of the show by strumming his guitar on the closing notes. Later in the show, Jonny took to the separate drum set on the stage to play some beats and in the closing of their set, Mark, Daniel and Jonny were on ladders in the photo pit with Jonny playing drums that had been handed to members of the crowd.  A great show and one I won’t forget soon, which consisted of:

    1. If It Doesn’t Hurt
    2. Let ‘EM Burn
    3. Don’t Stop
    4. Angel Song
    5. Go to War
    6. Tired of Winning
    7. House on Sand
    8. Jenny
    9. Fade In/Fade Out
    10. Ocean Floor
    11. This Is the Time (Ballast)

    NOTHING MORE

    As if that wasn’t enough for the night, we still had Ocala, FL (USA) based Wage War.  Having formed in 2010, members Briton Bond, lead guitarist Seth Blake, rhythm guitarist and clean vocalist Cody Quistad, bassist Chris Gaylord, and drummer Stephen Kluesener have a solid metalcore sound, with and Cody having beBriton Seth en there since the bands inception.  They have toured extensively, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see them numerous times including support slots, headline spots as well at festivals. The band has released four studio albums and one EP to date, with a new full-length album, Stigma, slated for release June 21, 2024.  Tonight’s show kicked off with Stitch, and they immediately made it known that they were there to make an impression. They followed with Low and Then Gravity.  The set included the two singles released from Stigma, Magnetic and Nail5.  Their set was energetic and well executed and was one to remember. The entire setlist from this show was:

    1. Stitch
    2. Low
    3. Gravity
    4. High Horse
    5. Godspeed
    6. MAGNETIC
    7. Prison
    8. Teeth
    9. The River
    10. Alive
    11. Death Roll
    12. NAIL5
    13. Circle the Drain
    14. Manic

    WAGE WAR

    All in all, another great selection of bands for a tour.  While this tour is ending soon, you can still catch Nothing More, Wage War, Veil of Maya and Sleep Theory out on the road.

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