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It’s always a fun time when I get the chance to head up to Los Angeles, CA to see a concert. Especially one that was hosting a bill that consists of more artistic performances and high energy rock. This happened when I got to attend Nothing More, Sleep Token, and the Cherry Bombs when they were all performing at The Wiltern. This theatre was built in 1931 and has been a host to many amazing events over the years, and this was a show I did not want to miss.

Opening the night was something very different to most rock shows. It was a cabaret performance by a troupe making huge waves in the industry. They call themselves the Cherry Bombs. Started by their leader Alicia Taylor, they combine choreography, pole dancing, burlesque, and pyro techniques together to create a performance that will make sure to hype of any crowd. The Cherry Bombs are made up of a rotating cast of femme fatales. This night we were fortunate to see Krista Smithers Phit, Amanda Sahr, Dannii Moone, and Mac Francisco come together as the Cherry Bombs. One thing I had heard about this group before seeing them this night, was that they always bring a big fire performance with them. Sadly, due to the constraints of the venue, they could only do a minimize version of their fire set. But none the less they blasted Rammstein’s “Du Hast” as they brought out the fire fans, fire torches, and fire hoop as they lit up the venue. We even got a sexy pole routine by Phit. Throughout the show the ladies would slip through costume changes, different props, highlighting each member in the troupe, and bringing out big choreo pieces. The Cherry Bombs are making waves as a unique and eye-catching act for any hard rock or metal tour.

Up next was a band that I had only seen the last song of their set 4 years ago when I got to a show late. But I was captivated by their look and style on stage. Sleep Token are an enigma in the music industry as they wear masks and clothing to hide their identity. Their members are simply known as Vessel who worship their ancient deity known as Sleep. The Vessel who sings has such a beautiful melodic voice to him that he captivates and makes you fall in love with just his tone. The Vessel’s who play guitar, bass, and drum all dawn black clothing and the same Sleep symbolled face masks. They are there to help singer Vessel preach the word of Sleep. Sleep Token’s music is transformative in that they don’t stick to one style of music. They can float between alternative metal, to djent, to indie pop, to ambient experimental music. With songs like “Alkaline,” “Hypnosis,” “Jaws,” “Mine,” “The Love You Want,” “Higher,” and ending with “The Offering.” Sleep Token brought their own world to The Wiltern that night and gave the people of Los Angeles a little view of what they stand for.

It was time to finally see a band that has been one of my favorite live acts for the last couple years. I was fortunate enough to cover Nothing More last time they were in California when they played the House of Blues, and I was even more excited to be seeing them again just four months later at the Wiltern. Lead singer Jonny Hawkins is a ball of chaotic energy as he runs around the stage. With his powerful booming voice, he still manages to make sure every lyric is clearly heard in each song. Backed by Guitarist Mark Vollelunga in one of his trademarked one sleeved shirts, who always plays the best hard rock licks. Bassist Daniel Oliver and drummer Ben Anderson are both technical masters of their equipment. Not content with just holding down the low end, they both add flair and grooves to their playing that enhance each song. With Nothing More releasing their newest album Spirits coming out on Oct 14th, they honored us with four new songs off the album. Them being “Turn it Up Like (Stand in the Fire),” “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE MEANS,” and combining two songs into one with “Tired of Winning/Ships in the Nights.”  Nothing More also gave the crowd the songs that helped them rise to prominence like “Let ‘Em Burn,” “Don’t Stop,” “Go to War,” “Jenny,” “Fadein/Fadeout,” and ending their set with “This is the Time (Ballast).” Nothing More never ceases to disappoint with high energy performances from each member of the band, heavy tunes that gets the crowd jumping and head banging, and big catch chorus’s that everyone can sing along to.

The Wiltern was the place to be if you wanted an amazing mix of different artists performing. Cherry Bombs brought the sexy with their fiery burlesque performance, Sleep Token preached the word of their deity Sleep to the masses, and Nothing More rocked the roof off the Wiltern with their chaotic energy on stage. No matter how many times any of these bands come to town, I would highly recommend grabbing a ticket and making sure you got to see their show.


Matt Martinez

Editor - Orange County

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